I thought I had made it. Thought my years of effort had paid off. Thought I was slowly integrated. Yes, I even thought I understand my fellow men by now. Wrong.
For four years now I’ve been living in Bavaria, sorry Franconia. 1460 days ago I turned my back on my Swabian homeland. 35040 hours I survive now already (almost) without Maultaschen and Kasspatzle.
Oh, I’ve tried so many things. Looked for new friends, who can roll the “R. Traded beer for wine and even squeezed into a dirndl – even if only for Oktoberfest. Is all this supposed to have been of no use?
On the way to the bakery I become aware of my migration-related barriers. A poster. In blue, red and white. So far I can still keep up. But then there is this sentence. Eight words that make me doubt everything I have built up over the past years. Eight words that – no matter how I twist and turn them – just don’t want to make sense.
“MIA SANN FRANGG’N – OBBA BAIAN SCHO AA'”. So so. All clear. Or not. I start – as we were taught in the German course – to interpret it. Maybe it’s about a Mia who questions her grandfather? But would be a funny choice statement. Especially since the poster is not from the Grey Panthers.
Maybe you should read the sentence backwards? Or are the blanks misplaced? Maybe it is a secret message that only chosen Kitzinger can read. I briefly consider whether I should call in a translator. But I rather leave that. I do not want to be recognized as a foreigner.
Ten minutes later. I still stare. My brain is buzzing with various dialects trying to bring me enlightenment. But nothing. White flag. I admit defeat and think about transforming the old familiar saying for the generations to come:
We know everything, except High German – and your Franconian Bairisch makes us quite foolish, too!