So in the morning I went to teach a very sweet, beautiful lady who will turn 41 on the same day as Hitler’s birthday, and we drank water with fresh lemon juice and listened to her stories about she’s quite bored at work but finds reasons to smile anyway and she smiled which made this chilly weather easier to endure. And we came to the conclusion that she bored, but too comfortable with her life to do anything about it. And if she’d be open to it, I’d like to broaden her horizon.

Then I went to lend a book to a student who was in a car crash yesterday and is not feeling too well mentally either.

Then I went to teach German to seven people almost all of them older than 50, whose grandparents spoke German, so it’s quite a challenge, but they are fun and I learn a lot. One of them had his birthday so I got him two beers. 1 euro and 70 cents and you make someone feel appreciated. What a bargain!

Normally I take Marie, a 33 year old German lady to lunch on one of the ships on the Danube after this German lesson, but she is in Germany till May, with her husband and two kids, and we have already gone and had lunch on the boat Marina, we talked for almost four hours, because I had more time than usual and to my surprise she later emailed I had given her the

sweetest gift she had ever received, an improvised travel plan to have our next German lesson in Vietnam, a country she’d love to see. On the boat we had lunch and she had icecream and I took pancakes, not because I was so hungry, but she doesn’t want to be paid for the lessons, so I pay in food, like she requested, and she really loves food, so I like to see her eat and she talks a lot and asks lots of complicated questions so I learn a lot. I have spoken more German with her than in all of the rest of my life combined. And there’s a bit of a cultural fascination, because she’s more like a Belgian woman, but more refined, and more feminine, but at the same time less over the top feminine than Slovak women. Being German it doesn’t surprise me that she is always exactly on time. Or there is really nothing cultural about it and she is just who she is and there is no such thing as a German or Belgian or Slovak identity.

Although when I compare my groups in Slovakia and imagine that I would have groups with Dutch people, I know the atmosphere would be totally different and I would choose Slovaks every day and twice on Sunday.

Now I have a lesson with a law professor who is always smiling but at the same time very shy and reserved and deadly afraid of making a mistake and then three hours of Dutch with my most advanced group when it comes to Dutch. We will read articles on the myths of the Third Reich.

This weather is making me kinda slow and a bit sleepy, so my lessons don’t have the spark as what I usually aim for, but I suppose am not the only one affected by the weather.

No matter how good a lesson is I always walk out of the room thinking more can be achieved in one lesson.