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Best Friends

by Toiny Westberry on 16 February 2011
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While I have some gorgeous pictures of my cut-on, stitched-up elbow, I’m not sharing.  For all I know you are eating your breakfast & drinking a cup of coffee (my favorite activity while reading newsletters) and I really don’t want to interfere with your enjoyment of some quiet time.
So, instead, a picture of my Dino with his best friend Kevin.  I love Kevin!  He’s an amazing little guy.  He speaks not a word of English, and, frankly, Dane speaks barely two words of German.  I’m hoping that as his hearing returns his German improves, but for now it’s a little, uh, non-existent.  Still, the language barrier has not deterred these two from many fun hours together.
On Monday, Valentine’s Day, Dane and I brought a basket filled with goodies to his Kindy.  The Dad has spent many pain-staking hours packaging up little gift baggies, tied with a curled ribbon, for the whole school.  Holidays are not easy, he found.  Dane & I happily passed them out and explained Valentine’s Day to our German friends.  While it’s starting to be celebrated here, it is considered a day for sweethearts not a day of love for everyone in all relationships.
Interestingly, I spoke a little more in-depth with the Kita Director and her perception of Valentine’s Day was a little more negative.  Partly this is her personal preference, I’m sure, to be surprised by her husband, versus being told by the Marketing Powers-That-Be.  But also, it seems, in Germany everything (everything lovey-dovey anyway) is more expensive on the big V-day.
I explained in the US it is the opposite, Valentine’s Day is a big sale day at florists, for chocolates and at jewelers.   Our merchants figure more customers spending less money = greater sales.  The German merchants figure it is a must-have-present day, let’s make more money per customer.  I’m constantly amazed at the difference in a culture I thought was so like my own.
Ironically it is the differences that is making me friends and pulling me closer to my new community.

Best Friends

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