Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Friday, 6 September 2013

My ÜberIch (Superego)

Brigitta Huegel

This morning I was roused from sleep two times: first by our neighbour above (to be exact: 3.80m above me, yes, our ceilings are high - and yes: our floors are all parquet which makes a jolly sound when you buy yourself new shoes, as he seemingly did, and then hustle and bustle through the wide rooms - at 5 o'clock in the morning!!! Main destination, so it seemed: the corner above my bed). 
The second time - it was now 7 o'clock, very late for me, but I had to catch up on some sleep (see above) it was my strong ÜberIch that whispered into my ear. 
To be more exact: it gave me a lecture. 
"What were you thinking of when you wrote that last post in 'Gardening in High Heels'?" "Häh?" "Don't say 'häh' - a groomed German Lady says 'Wie bitte'?" "What??" 
My ÜberIch took a seat at my desk and changed its contours to look like my beloved German/English - teacher Frl. Dr. Mergel (you know her by now). 
"If you had given me that as an essay, I would have written "Beside the point!" under it - in red ink.
I rubbed my eyes. 
"Under the admittedly quite catching headline "Kitchen gardens and Dig forVictory gardens" - what do you think people will expect?" "Ehm... äh..." "Don't mumble - speak clearly!" "Well, I would think I get some information on kitchen and victory gardens." "Bravo! But what did you serve? Eh?" "I...äh...I..." "Don't stutter. You served a - to stranger's completely uninteresting little story - about what your 5-year old son said - instead of facts, quotes, thoughtfulness." "Sorry!" "Yes, you can say that. If you weren't adult (hahaha) now, I would give you an hour's detention." "Ouch"
We made a deal - because I wanted to have breakfast, and she wanted - I don't know... Hopefully go one storey up and teach our stamping neighbour a lesson - in form of his old  teacher. 
The deal is: I inform myself on Victory gardens. And tell you - as soon as I find time. 
"I heard you", she said ,while her wonderful cherry-red ladies costume and then her figure and face dissolved, "I heard you humming under your breath!" 
And then she sang. 
In French this time:

(...Mais le soleil se fit taquin
Me cribla de carton d'éculaire
Et fit lancer sur mon bouquin
Des lutins à barbe séculaire
Géométrie rassurez-vous
Je serai fin prêt pour septembre
Mais à tout choisir je vous l'avoue
Mieux vaut le sable que la chambre

Yes - she knows my tricks by now, though I never played truant - maybe that's why she is called ÜberIch. 


  1. Oh, tell your Uberich to take a hike. Preferably to your upstairs neighbor, who is clearly in more need of a lecture than you.

    I just took a peek at your new website. Wunderbar! (Is that correct? I don't know much... hardly any... German.) Really, it's quite impressive. So are all the books you've written. (Considerably more than your ol' Uberich has written, I'll betcha!)

    1. Dear Susan,
      I love that Texas way to handle 'problems'!
      I'm glad you like my new website - 'Wunderbar' is absolutely correct, you may sit down' = comment of Fräulein Dr. Mergel - from above :-)

  2. She's clever. Quite. And funny in a scary way. But not as clever and fierce as you, even when you mumble after being woken up at 7 in the morning--again. You should send her up to Stampy McStamperson and his new shoes. Where she belongs, after all: defending you, not attacking you. ;)

    1. Dear Suze,
      in real life she was clever (though not funny, always a bit distant) and in a 'cool' way supporting us. As a Single in a male academic world it meant school teacher then, giving us love for English and being a fashion ladylike role-model, in a stern way.

  3. Good heavens! Could you set up a desk in the corner with a pile of essays to be marked?.....anything to keep her out of your sleep/head space/dreams? Tell her to take a hike - that your blog friends were quite happy with the post and its quirky title.

    1. Dear Pondside,
      your wonderful advice has only one catch: then she will sit there all the time (sometimes looking with her big blue eyes disapprovingly over her glasses) But I will offer her a wonderful desk and masses of books in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (the wonderful old one, Unter den Linden - there I will sometimes meet her - as nobody can get rid of one's ÜberIch - but a reading room means: silence...
      I'm glad you liked the garden post.

  4. Britta: I am sorry to be so absent in the comments boxes--though I do check in always to see what's up. As you've seen, I seem once again to have got myself immersed in a nearly insurmountable (though also intensely interesting . . . to me, anyway . . . ) project. Anyway, I'm so glad to have had a chance to come over for this, which also took me back to the "Gardening" post. The gardening post is absolutely lovely, a wonderful associative meander to a perfect final point: "But I am glad that nowadays we don't have any 'Victory' but only 'peace' gardens. Full of flowers. Just beautiful." Yes, just beautiful. A+.

  5. Dear Sue,
    I'm glad to hear of you, but there is no need for excuses (only if you came to Berlin without giving notice): I know you are deep in a project - and I know how much work is to do, especially as you do it so very intense, beautiful and instructive-in-a-good-sense - always entertaining too.
    And I'm glad that you don't share Fräulein Dr. Mergel's point of view :-)