This post could also be entitled “you know you’re an international/global/third culture kid/person if you are halfway around the world from where you originally met your friends, you speak in multiple languages to each other and your kids at the same time, your friends seriously contemplate visiting you in crazy destinations like Mongolia, and this is all completely normal.”
You see, I first met Tanja in my German expat playgroup in Sao Paulo. She arrived around the same time we did with her husband and a “blind passenger” on board (German idiom, literal translation…it’s kind of a fun one which is why I am not editing it out here!) who came to be known as Linus (no relation to Charlie Brown), their Brazilian-born (and “real” Brazilian with said passport).
In our German playgroup, we struggled with the up’s and down’s of raising small kids in a crazy mega-city together and over time, our families became friends and we got together regularly. Very entertaining for us was the fact that Tanja and her husband are Swiss and speak Swiss German which is what I call a “cute and funny version” of German – a “language” I can hardly understand. Well that’s not true, I understand about a third of it. If you’ve never heard it, just pretend to speak German, mix in some French sounds, and add lots of “li’s” or “i’s” to word endings – we are also proud to have adopted “Wagerli” as part of our family language to mean “stroller” (for those linguistically inclined…. “Kinderwagen” is the proper German word for stroller; Austrians call it a “Wagerl” and the Swiss add an “i” because ‘why not?’).
About a year before we left Brazil, Tanja with family (and another “blind passenger” … someone check that woman’s blood work before she flies!) headed back to Switzerland to be closer to the Alps and their families (and add a “Swiss born”). We kept in touch and were super excited when they came to visit us this summer (no blog post from me, how terrible of a host/blogger am I? I blame it on the lack of pictures because we had way too much fun to be concerned with taking snapshots). Anyway – our visit ended too soon so we searched for another opportunity to get together. Cue in …. the sound of music 🙂
Yes, so this past weekend we all took the train to Salzburg, one of our favorite places to visit in Austria (partly because we always stay at this fantastic bed and breakfast on a farm which we love!) and had a super fun time even though the weather was not on our side.
And yes, another fun visit that ended too soon. Plans are being made to find a follow-up time….who knows where?!