Isn't that brilliant??
But sometimes there's no good class on (I'm boycotting Heidrun's class because she walks around barking out orders and doesn't even do the excercises) so I fall back on my old friend the Stairmaster.
The other day I was alone with about 30 Stairmasters, climbing away and looking at various magazines. Only highbrow ones, of course, like Der Spiegel, because I like to improve my mind while excercising.
No, people, not really.
Anyway, this older German woman with way too much perfume and make up came in and took the Stairmaster next to me, turning up her music so loud I could hear it through her headphones.
I finished one of my magazines and let it drop gently to the floor. Unfortunately it landed in just such a way to make an enormous racket, like a gunshot.
I smiled charmingly and apologetically at my neighbor, who glared back.
'Muss das sein?' she asked. Translation: 'Is that really necessary?'
Although I know it is unwise to piss off German women of certain age who were brought up in harsh circumstances after the war and think the younger generation is good for nothing, flippant remarks just fall out of my mouth in situations like this.
Me: 'Ja, leider muss es manchmal sein.' Translation: 'Yes, it is unfortunately sometimes necessary.'
OK, not my best, I can be much more scathing three days later, but that's what I had.
'Ziege!' she hissed at me.
Now, this means 'goat.' No one has ever called me a goat before because I'm such a friendly person so I was a little confused. But I went back to my magazines and ignored her for the next half hour while I finished my workout, including when she cut the cheese rather loudly.
I think that was pretty nice of me, given that I could have said, 'Muss das sein?' right back at her. Mwa ha ha ha ha!!
As I walked out of the room, her voice followed me: 'Ziege. Ziege! ZIEEEEGE!!!!!!!'
I flipped her off, still wondering what the heck Ziege means. BTW, I haven't flipped anyone off since, like, college but instinct took over.
I called Ralf. 'What does Ziege mean? I mean, I know it means goat, but what does it mean?'
After a slight pause, Ralf asked, 'Did someone actually call you that?'
Me: 'Don't you want to know who?'
Ralf: 'Um. . . a German person?'
Me: 'Ha ha, Mr. Funny German Guy. What does it mean?'
Ralf: 'I'm not... sure. No one we know ever says that. Why did they call you that?'
Me: 'Because I dropped my magazine at the gym and it was really loud. But she farted and that was way worse. And...'
Ralf: 'Sweetie, can we not get into that just now, I'm kind of in the middle of a small cascade failure here. It sounds like Ziege means bitch in this context.
Ralf: Or maybe annoying bitch.'
A pregnant pause.
Me (accusingly): 'I can not believe this. Someone calls me a you-know-what for no reason and all you can think about is your silly cascade failure???'
I won't share Ralf's totally unfair response to this perfectly reasonable question.