16 December 2007

Sick again...

Well, we are winding up another week of solid illness here. Sometimes I think that my in-laws might be plague carriers, but then I just acknowledge that we have absolutely no resistance to German disease at this point. So, first we get sick from the children that 1 and 2 are exposed to at school and get Berlin diseases, and then we visit or are visited by F and G and get all the Nord-Rhineland Westphalian bacteria that K and B are exposed to and we get even sicker from them. Hopefully we will develop some type of immunity before we leave Germany that will allow us to have just a single month without illness….

12/16 On Sunday morning Thing 1 developed a type of allergic rash that we thought might have been provoked by the pony ride on Saturday, but she had had a bath and had new clothes, so no. I gave her a bath and she seemed to improve, but after everyone left (the German needed to work, as he had a huge deadline this week) she blew up again and I got quite frightened. Her face was almost unrecognizable. I called the German to find out what to do, he called the pediatrician, and Dr. R came, on his motorcycle, on a Sunday, to make a housecall. Wow. So that’s what it was like in the 1950’s!
Thing1 is on an allergy medication and we need to see how it plays out before, perhaps, having her re-tested for allergies. Anyway, we have spent the week in the grip of the grippe. I haven’t had a real flu in ages and had forgotten how awful it is. Deep bone pain, intense head-ache, waves of heat and cold. The girls went in and out of high fever as well. It’s Saturday night now and we all seem to have reached, 6 days later, the level of deep, racking, phlegm-filled coughs and I alone have achieved the status of completely voiceless. We had hoped to go to a Weihnuka (Weinacht + Hanuka) festival tonight in Prenzlauer-Berg, but our babysitter came down ill with this same flu (which we almost certainly gave to her) and therefore we are staying home, coughing, eating carry-in Chicken Jahlfrezi and Sheekh Kebab and watching Blood Diamond. This is an absolutely horrifying movie about the murderous RUF in Sierra Leone and although I had known most of the background information, seeing it enacted was far more horrible than reading about it.

----We have had to just stop it, because Thing2 can’t sleep and the German is holding her and we can’t have her seeing any of that for at least the next 14 or so years, so An Unpleasant Truth is what we are watching now. Interesting movie.---- And back to BD…I am really impressed by Leonardo DiCaprio. He shows a depth of character (and acting ability) in this movie (playing a miserably greedy diamond dealer) that I find impressive. The movie was overwhelming. I can’t understand how anyone could bear to watch it in a movie theatre, because I could barely manage to watch it at home. I can see why Angelina Jolie adopts orphans, because when watching this movie, I wanted to adopt one as well. And she is seeing them in reality. Well worth seeing, but on the small screen, where one can pause to relieve the overwhelming nature of the subject and the sheer horror of its (accurate) depiction.
Well, at least in one way this movie has succeeded. Neither the German nor I will ever again buy a diamond that has not been certified conflict free. And I’m not certain I will ever want a diamond again. On to watch an episode of House. I can’t handle another serious movie this evening!

General News: While suffering through the worst illness he has had, the German managed to work overtime and on the weekend pulling through a major crisis at work. All went well and we have been extended here through March 31st, which we had been hoping for. Because we had been hoping for the extension, we didn’t give notice at school, or arrange for an integration course in the Sauerland or discuss start dates in Duesseldorf, about which I am very pleased. Germans don’t seem to do well with spontaneity or changing plans.

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