We are a bilingual house. My Beloved hails from Germany, from a small village of around 550 people; his parents still live there, downstairs from his older brother and his family, and down the road from his younger brother and his family (who live in their great-grandmother's house). On both his parents side they can trace their families back around 900 years - in the same village. As a fifth generation Australian of very Anglo stock, who has just moved into her 14th house in 11 years, this heritage is completely outside of my understanding.
We're off to Germany for a month in a few days, and it's always a fantastic trip. I love many things about being able to have a small share in my partner's heritage, and I'm sure I'll have the opportunity to wax lyrical about them over the coming weeks.
However I've been noticing a disturbing trend in the newspaper lately.
First, there was the cannibal case. A computer technician from Kassel (about 60kms from Beloved's village, what's more!) is on trial for advertising on the internet for, killing, dissecting and eating another person.
Then, there was a report of a man lying dead in his bed for SEVENTEEN years before anyone found him. I can't believe not one authority came chasing a bill! Still, it's a sad indictment that no one found him for so long. Essen happens to be about one and a half hours from The Village.
But this is the clincher. A man stabs his father to death, then CHOPS OFF HIS OWN HEAD with a chainsaw! I saw the headline and thought 'maybe some eastern european country, some guy whacked out on potato vodka' but NO! Another German!!
Maybe it's something in the water, but you've got to admit it's all a pretty big coincidence. Weird.
I think I might play it safe and stick to beer. And don't mention the war!