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2003-11-25 - 1:11 p.m.

first thoughts of the holiday season

Congratulate me because today I feel so completely German. This morning I went to the doctor. He looked at my throat and said it's infected. He gave me a sheet of yellow paper and told me to go home and sleep for three days. No money was exchanged - I will never see the costs of the visit or the bloodtests. So now I am sitting at home feeling like God has excused me from life for the next three days. There is a sense of relief that I don't HAVE to do anything because I have this pretty yellow slip of paper from the doctor that tells me to stay home and drink lots of fluids.

I rarely go to see a doctor when I am sick because he usually just tells me to stay at home and drink lots of fluids, which is something I knew already. But this time it felt good to believe in some priest of medicine and have him tell me It's Okay to stay at home and sleep.

This particular medical clergyman seemed fascinated by the fact that I am American. After determining that my infection is not bacterial but rather viral and stress-related, he launched into a monologue about the American Lifestyle. Americans work too hard. They don't take enough vacations. And they overmedicate themselves for every sickness. He was therefore somewhat surprised to learn that I have been taking a homeopathic anti-viral tincture for the last week (alot of good it has done me). But it didn't stop the monologue.

So here I sit at home, probably breaking the rules of the little yellow slip of paper. Because I plan to start my laundry, take out my trash, and then sit in front of the DVD player and watch movies while working on my computer. That is, I will take seriously his order to stay at home in some reclined position..after the laundry is dealt with.

On the Attila front: I signed the last of the resignation papers yesterday. Still no word on my travel permission form.


Spoke to K about our Christmas plans yesterday evening. I was hoping somewhat that we would go to visit his parents. However, his father has officially uninvited his offspring to the house this year. It's too cold. Too dangerous to travel. The house is too small for so many people. So, it looks like K and I will spend Christmas alone together in Jena.

Indeed, it was a bit stressful during my first (and last?) trip to their home, because there was very little place for us to move around, and there were many new personalities to which I needed to adjust. However, I was genuinely looking forward to being welcomed into the bosom of the family, and then smiling quietly to myself at the observation that other families drive each other crazy too.

But now there is a new little fantasy developing in my head. The one of K and I under the Christmas tree with goofy little presents and goofy little Bing Crosby Christmas music (no doubt playing as MP3s on his Compaq portable computer), and my cooking a Christmas duck with some red cabbage. and candles. and books and peace and quiet.

Kind of like a German Frank Capra film...

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