Had an evening that touched my heart while I was leaving school after Football practice recently.
There were four 12-year-old Zeilsheim neighbourhood boys playing outside of the school gate while I was heading out. Two Germans, a Turkish boy, and an Eastern European. I smiled kindly at one of them when the German boy asked me something in Deutsche. Shrugging sheepishly, I replied ‘Nein Deutsche’ which literally means ‘No German’ (I know it’s bad and I have been berating myself to learn the language more!)
That’s when they stringed a few words in English and asked ‘Teacher?’ I said yes! ‘Wow. You rich as Asian family! They drive BIG cars every morning!’ Hehe. I chuckled and replied ‘Students rich. Teacher not rich.’ Then the Turkish boy asked: ‘You have pool in school?’ I said ‘Yup!’ and showed them the pool through the gate. All of them gawked staring at the pool.
‘It’s so hot. Nice if we can swim!’ They said. Unfortunately, beaches are found a few thousand kilometers way up North in Germany. As they hanged around dreaming of the pool, I took my leave. That’s when they shouted out ‘Thank you Teacher! Have a Good Day!’ I waved back saying ‘Gute Nacht’.
I wished I could have invited these boys out to use the pool but such is life and it is the same everywhere whether you’re German or Singaporean, you just can’t help but to look over the fence where the grass is always greener.