I was reading Das Parfüm again while I was waiting to get inside a plane to Bogotá from Lima. My flight was delayed due to “mechanical problems” so I took the free time to read the parts that I like most. Many people were gathered at the departure gate, waiting a stressed Peruvian flight attendant to say something new, some Brazilians were laughing from time to time, while two (extremely blond) young women were observing everything in silence.
After one hour of lecture I decided to get up and stretch my body a little bit when the two silent women came to say hello to me in English. They were from Sweden, in their twenties, doing a trip through Latin America. The tallest one asked me where I was from and what I was reading. I told them that I was from Colombia and that I was reading Das Parfüm from Patrick Süskind. “So you speak German?” said the tallest one, and surprisingly added: “the German language is not a language”. I was astonished to hear such statement and asked her what she really meant by that. “The German language is a horrible language; it is not like Spanish or Portuguese”…Trying to put some context to her comment, I asked her if she studied something and she told me that she was studying anthropology in Sweden. I also asked her if she could speak German herself and she said that she learned some in the school but she found it awful. I told her that it could be a nice experience for her to continue learning German in order to enjoy the language and maybe discover its beauty someday. She looked at me as if I were a piece of faeces…Her quiet friend remained in silence, at least she seemed to be friendly.
…Well, I just want to write a little bit about why I like the German language and why my intuition and humble experience tell me that every language has its beauty. From now on, I will have a new category in this blog: “The German language is “doch” beautiful”.