Political messages and musings

| March 5, 2014

It’s an interesting situation in which I currently find myself. We as a family are fans of political protest floats and freedom of expression. I was surprised to see a political statement in Dieburg’s small-town (but by no means small-production) parade yesterday, as there was nothing political last year, but I was not at all put off by Germans mooning Obama–there is legitimate tension and a lack of trust in the air amidst Merkel’s reactions toward information about her phone being tapped and other revelations over the past year.

However, I feel the air toward us–particularly toward me, which is easiest to detect as the adult in our family most integrated in German daily life here–has changed over time as a result of these ongoing tensions. No, not among all, but enough to be tangible. It’s a bummer, as a Hausfrau who left the workforce six years ago with a big, fat “See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya”, and who spends the bulk of her time writing for public consumption–indeed, the very opposite of the secrecy Germans today mistrust about Americans.

What I fear most is that it will one day affect my six-year-old; that one day, she will be figuratively mooned (okay, most likely just snubbed) over something she can’t control. When you are a brat, you might be ostracized until you figure it out. That’s legit social training. Global politics just shouldn’t enter the first grade classroom, and I hope they won’t.

I had to laugh at myself when I initially gave this some thought and wondered, “Is there anti-American sentiment in Dieburg?” I immediately gave myself a reality check. There are Americans in some actual scary places who would love to judge current anti-American sentiment from the shoes of a Hausfrau wondering how much to read into a parade group and the looks of other Hausfrauen.

Seriously, Kari, get your Scheiß together.



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Category: Ex-pat Parenting, FAMILY, In Germany A Broad blog

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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