Thursday, 2 September 2010

Learning to Walk

So I had an exciting afternoon: I went into Bern and bought my monthly transit pass, whilst completing the entire transaction auf Deutsch! This is the very first time I have continued an entire transaction where I predominately spoke German.

(I only spoke English one time, when I forgot that 'morgen' means 'tomorrow'. But I quickly bounced back and completed the purchase in German, bidding the ticket agent a friendly schöna tag--sp?--as I left.)

That's not to say that at the moment I can go into any situation and verbally resort to my shaky second language skills.  The transit situation just happens to be one where I know all the words (and now I definitely won't forget what 'morgen' means).

But please don't assume I just woke up and realized I needed the pass, so I waltzed in and confidently and articulately spoke my request.  Oh no, I practiced all morning the German sentence for: "Hello. I would like a zone pass for zones ten and eleven please, for the month of September. Thank-you."

All morning.

Specifically, I practiced this sentence--out loud--over and over again as I hiked up the Gurten.

This morning was really beautiful, and I wanted to see the Alps so I decided to head up to the Gurten which is a mountain in Bern that has a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding alps.

It's getting to be Fall, which means that Mother Nature is being quite tricky at the moment by allowing the day to start off chilly but then gradually pulling the chill out of the air and letting the sun's pure warmth radiate.

I always forget this. I was dressed too warmly for the hike, and not in layers either.

I will blame this on the reason why I was finding it difficult to get to the top.  Yes, I will blame it on my clothes.

So yeah, once again I was gasping for air like a fish pulled into a boat. I'd like to think I wasn't the only one who found the climb difficult, but the troop of over seventies who went whizzing by me didn't seem to be having any troubles.  Nor did the two men who not only went running by me, but were carrying on a (slightly breathless) conversation!

WTF.

You would think that after three solid months of hiking or walking an average of five days a week, my cardiovascular system might be a little more Ferrari and a little less 1981 Camry.

What's the deal Body? I forced down a complete and nutritional breakfast so I wouldn't have a blood-sugar attack, I made sure to stay hydrated, and I avoided the sun at all cost to avoid heat fatigue (though, let's face it: warm clothes + uphill climb = sweaty mess).  Why did you have to preform like such a lemon?

I'm developing a complex of unfitness.

But anyhow, I stomped my way to the top of the Gurten in a show of defiance against my pathetic and weak lungs, while repeating (just imagine it's written in German, those skills don't exist yet): "HELLo...gasp...I WOULD like a zone pass for ZONES TEN and eleven...gasp, gasp, gasp, gasp...please, for the MONTH of...gasp....SEPTEMBER....gasp....Thank YOU."

As I repeated this mantra over and over I didn't hear the over seventies approaching me, and I was mid-sentence when they pulled up beside me to pass.  It was slightly embarrassing: both to be passed by these mountain-goat grandparents, and to be heard repeating my out-loud request for a bus pass in the middle of a deserted forest.

But once I got to the top of the Gurten and sucked back the nectar of the gods, otherwise known as water, I enjoyed my desired alpine views immensely.

Worth it

Once at the top, you will need to do the following:

Find a bench...

Or a bench

Maybe in the company of friends

Become part of the crowd

And marvel at the view

Again...

And again

And again

And again.

Or you could play disc-golf, if you're into that.

So today I learned:

(1) My German skills are improving; and
(2) My cardio-system appears to still be running on flat tires and non-premium gas.

*P.S. Can someone please explain to me why my sensor keeps getting dusty.  I can't afford to keep taking the damn camera in for cleaning every two weeks.  WHAT ARE YOUR SECRETS, PEOPLE WHO OWN CAMERAS?

4 comments:

mom said...

You don't give yourself enough credit Cait. It takes a long time to get your cardio to a high level. Think of where you were when you first started and where you are now....You are probably not breathing as hard as you think and everytime you go out, an improvement is made so be proud of yourself! ps have no idea about the camera since I'm such an avid photographer :-)

Habebi said...

Those views made my day. I just look at those pictures and I felt everything relax. It was almost like being there... yeah not so much, but, hey I did really love looking at those views.

Congratulations on speaking in German!! Good for you! And hey, it starts with rehearsing and ends with it coming out of your mouth naturally. In fact, I should practice some second language skills tonight. Thanks for the motivation!

I don't have a problem with my lense getting dusty. Every now and then it fogs up when I take it outside in the heat- the humidity doesn't help either. And as I'm an amatuer I have NO idea what's going on. May need to get it looked at at a camera shop. Ohhh there ya go! Fix your camera and practice speaking German in one go! ;-)

jessica said...

Do you have multiple lenses? One main way to get dust in is by changing the lenses with the sensor facing up. It takes some practice, and it feels awkward, but if you hold the camera upside down and very very quickly change the lenses like that, no dust can fall into the sensor. i always prepare the one by unscrewing the cap and just setting that lens on the cap. then take the camera, point at table. undo lens and then BOOM, switcheroo. then go about tightening up the other cap when done with camera lens.

otherwise, get an air blower to knock out the dust.

jessica said...

Do you have multiple lenses? One main way to get dust in is by changing the lenses with the sensor facing up. It takes some practice, and it feels awkward, but if you hold the camera upside down and very very quickly change the lenses like that, no dust can fall into the sensor. i always prepare the one by unscrewing the cap and just setting that lens on the cap. then take the camera, point at table. undo lens and then BOOM, switcheroo. then go about tightening up the other cap when done with camera lens.

otherwise, get an air blower to knock out the dust.