Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wie mach ich ein 'et'?

I'm again sitting in the computer lab at the BUW. I was trying to log into the blogspot to make this post, but in order to do that, I would of course have to enter my email address. Now, under normal circumstances, this would be a relatively easy task, right?


So I sat there, staring at the keyboard, looking like an idiot for a few minutes. I was looking for the @ key. It certainly wasn't in its patriotic American place, at the shift-2 position. Oh no. It wasn't even at the shift-anything position. I considered asking the person next to me, but at the risk of looking less computer-literate than a sleeping cat, I decided to stick it out.

So there I sat, probably drooling or something, looking for the @ key. It wasn't in any of the obvious locations, like around where the enter key is. It wasn't near the number pad or up on the top-left near the tab key or anything. I was about to give up when the familiar @ sign caught my eye- on the Q key.


Yes, there it was, on the bottom-right corner of the Q key, printed in slightly lighter ink. I was a little surprised to find it there, but even more surprised to try to figure out the meanings of the various function keys on the keyboard. Alt-Q didn't work, neither did Strg-Q. Or Einfg-Q, or Entf-Q, or Little Oblong Circle Thing-Q. But the last one, Alt Gr-Q, made the @ sign appear. Duh, I should have known to use the Alt Gr key. I guess I really am computer illiterate.

Here are some more entertaining and annoying facts about the German keyboard:
-quotations are made with shift-2
-the caps lock key has a down-arrow on it for some reason
-the Y and Z keys are switched (why?)
-it is more natural to type $ than € (Alt Gr must be used for the euro sign)
-the hyphen key is in the top-right, which makes it very annoying to make these bullet points
-ß, ? and \ are all on the same key, and are accessed through the Alt Gr and Shift keys
-ä, ö and ü are keys, which makes it much easier to do homework assignments, and my personal favorite,
-there exists a ^ key, but the ^ only shows up if you type two in a row, and even then, it shows up as ^^. I had to backspace one of them each time I typed it in the last sentence. This leads me to believe that the Germans have an unhealthy obsession with annoying Japanese emoticons. ^_^

I will now type using the same key locations I'm used to. The following is a story I made up on the spot:

Anna Amalia was a small child growing up in the town of Weimar, Germanz. At the age of 10, she became the queenäs aide, and at 14, a maidservant. But whz do I write about this_ Because of one thing that was said to meÖ ÄRob, I want zou to tell mz storz. ^_^ To all who read zour blog.Ä I made that promise to the maidservant =who at the time was 16?. I wonder if ömaidservantö should be tzped ömaidßservant.ö ^_^

All that typing about Anna Amalia reminds me that I have to be at the Anna Amalia Bibliothek at 3:45 this afternoon. Lemme find out where it is...

Okay, it's not too far from the house. Maybe a ten-minute walk.

Weird keyboards aside, the recent past has been going alright. A conversation with someone in a bar the other night inspired me to try my hand at cooking. So yesterday, I bought a bunch of dough, spinach and cheese along with pesto stuff. And over the next 45 minutes or so, I made tortellini. And it was really, really good. Perhaps I'll give this "cooking" thing a try. I have pictures of it, too! Unfortunately, I'm in the computer lab without my laptop, which has the card reader for my camera. So I'll post those as soon as I get back to the house.

I slept so much yesterday, but I was still tired this morning. Dr. Cothran noticed I looked pale in class today and said I had dark circles under my eyes. I think I always do. I don't feel sick or anything though. We'll see how this turns out.

Off to the house now to eat an orange! I have a bag full of 'em.

Also: I called somebody who asked me for directions 'broseph' today in a German accent without thinking about it. In honor of the Germans' obsession with anime-style emoticons, O_o.


  1. I think the ^ is the accent circumflex (say that with a French accent), so that you can type things like Rhône. And I think the reason y and z are switched has to do with how many more ys we use in English and how many more zs we use in German.

    And yes, you do always have those circles under your eyes.

  2. Tee hee... Wie machst du ein "et?" Those German keyboards are bizarro. Jessie, I enjoy typing things like Rho^ne. Dunno how you did that. I hope Athens is going well.

    Rob, please get some fresh air and exercise. I'm glad you're eating oranges. Sounds like the tortellini was good! Love you, Mutti XOX

  3. ...and that F10 kitty is too cute.

  4. That's how I feel when my keyboard decides to become european.