Sunday, 17 December 2017

Coming Full Circle

If you had asked me five years ago if I would ever consider moving back to Germany, I'd have said, "NEVER in a million years!"

I guess you all know what's coming now.

Yup, I'm back in Germany. For good. I think. After 26 years!

I landed in Munich after my one-way flight from Madrid on the last day of June, provoked by a family situation. Since then, it's been kinda hellish - getting my flat ready took far longer than anticipated, and the family stuff has been harrowing. Now I have finally moved into my own place,  the dust is starting to settle, and I'm searching for "The New Normal."

I don't know yet how my new life is going to unfold, but I do know this: Despite a long break from blogging, my language journey remains central to my life. And I'm asking myself all sorts of angsty questions like:

  • Will English remain my dominant language or will German re-instate itself? If so, how long until that happens and do I even want that to  happen? I'm really torn on this... on the one hand, I hate having to search for German vocab for much longer than is considered decent for a native speaker, and on the other hand, I'm terrified of corrupting my English.
  • How will I maintain - and continue to improve! - my Spanish and my Portuguese? These languages are a treasured part of me and I can't stand the thought of losing them. The Portuguese is much more of a problem, since my links to that language (and its speakers) are much weaker than is the case for Spanish, which I still use every day.
  • What is going to happen to my Russian? It's suffered total neglect since I left Spain, abandoning my weekly lessons. 
So,  there's a lot to process and many adjustments to make. And I shall be writing about it...


  1. Hey Simone. Good to see you back blogging again. I was wondering where you had got to. Sorry to hear you've been through a rough patch. Hopefully things will start to settle now. Happy Christmas! June

    1. June! Delighted to hear from you :) Yeah, it's been pretty rocky lately... my mum's lost her eyesight after a "routine OP" and it doesn't seem fixable, the flat renovations took 4 months instead of 2, I spent three times as much as I intended, and Granny is on her way out. All topped off with reverse culture shock. Hope your life's less turbulent. xx

  2. Welcome back Simone! A couple weeks ago my sister and I were going through some recipes when we came upon the one for Munich-Style Cheesecake that you had given me. She asked me about you and I couldn't tell her anything other than "she isn't blogging anymore." So, I was surprised a few days ago when I got an email from Blogspot on my phone informing me of a new post for "Multilingual By Choice." I just read your comment above about how life is going and I'm sorry. As Bill Clinton used to say, "I feel your pain." And I do because this past summer with my dad was very rough. I'm looking forward to reading more about your language journeys. Here is an article from today's Boston Globe about people in Quebec trying to please everyone with the phrase "Bonjour Hi." The language police in Canada aren't as bad the ones in France but this is setting a few teeth on edge. Happy Holidays!

    1. Bonjour Hi Guten Tag Sue! (It's legal on here, at least, hahahaaa!) How lovely to hear from you and THEE CHEESECAKE LIVES! Even now that my mother will struggle to make it again. Hope your dad is OK. Health scares are the worst... you just feel so powerless.

      I look forward to blogging again regularly. How's your German going, btw? Still practising??

  3. Hola Simone,

    Wow, just from reading the comments, it looks like you've been through a lot. I'm so sorry.

    I can totally identify with your language concerns. At least for me, having spoken as much Spanish as I have (and that's well less than what you've spoken) I can say that it has mildly affected my English usage, causing me to do things like talk about "messaging" someone rather than texting him. Or using "occasion" as a verb in addition to a noun. So yes, German will probably infect your English to a degree. On the other hand, since you're still writing (professionally) in English, I think you'll probably be just fine.

    As for Portuguese and Russian, well, do your best. But it sounds like you have more immediate concerns.

    Hang in there!


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where there's surprisingly little chance to speak Spanish. At least in person.

    1. Hi Kim! My lapses get worse and worse... a couple of days ago, I wrote that it was "unseasonally" warm... and I couldn't figure out why the spell checker kept undersquiggling it! I've not been living in an English speaking environment now for over six years, and most of the "fun" reading I do is in Spanish and Portuguese, and I watch Spanish series and listen to Portuguese radio. I've not picked up an English novel in donkey's years. I still think mostly in English, though, but it's only a matter of time until German takes over again. I'm curious to see how this whole process will unfold over time, which is one of the reasons for getting back to blogging :)

      So, am very curious to hear what you are doing in California!

    2. Hola Simone!
      I think you've read my blog by now which explains why I'm in California. 2017 has been something of an "annus horribilis" for both me and my mother. As for English, you can worry when you start capitalizing English nouns. By the way, that link you gave me for learning Portuguese from Spanish is terrific. I'm driving to San Francisco later today (about 4 hours) and the podcasts will give me something to do on the drive. Tchau!

    3. Yup, am up to speed with your peregrinations again, lol. Glad to hear you're liking the podcasts. Am convinced your Portuguese will have taken a giant leap forward in those 4 hours!

  4. Simone, I found you! I googled lady of the cakes and out popped this blog. I thought it was a mistake, but no, here you are. I am so sorry to read of your troubles, but very happy to have found you again. Do take care and I look forward to reading more about what you are up to. Lynda

    1. Hi Lynda, and sorry for replying to you SIX MONTHS LATE! Gosh... it's been a really tough year for me, for a lot of reasons, not least because of my mother's illness. Hope you're keeping well and that the animals are happy and healthy :)