Nations united in confusion.

A very good friend of mine from my UCT days is having a rather sudden wedding, which I really want to attend.

This is not an easy task. But anyway.

She has been engaged for a long time, but now there is a child on the way so they want to get the wedding done fast. My friend is theoretically Dutch, as in both her parents emigrated from the Netherlands to SA before she was born. But really she is just an English speaking South African Joburger born and bred. Her soon to be husband is Greek. The two of them live in Frankfurt, Germany.

I am having an existential crisis just thinking about this child. What language will it speak? What passports will it have? What nationality? Half Dutch, half Greek, half South African, living in Germany.  Is that even mathematically possible?


Never mind the child, what is going to go on at the wedding? She used to belong to an American Evangelical church at an army base in Germany. Is the service therefore going to be in English to cater for the Americans, German as it is in Germany, Greek because the groom’s family only speak Greek, or what? Will there be translators? Good thing my friend’s parents are English speaking South Africans as well as being Dutch because I am fairly certain Dutch will not enter the equation here. The Dutch side of the family is multilingual of course. Maybe they will be the only ones who will know what is going on at all.

As to her friends, well, if you work in an academic institution your friends will be from every country you can imagine, but let us assume they can speak German or English to be able to study in Germany at all. They will be fine too.

I think.

I should probably just mention that  on the day of her wedding I have already booked a trip to Italy and should already be there. But let’s not add another country to this equation or my head will explode.

PS the BFG’s boss needs him to be in the US the day we get back from Italy. Just thought I would throw that in there to add to the fun. I think it is fairly possible we will end up in the wrong country at the wrong time at some point in the next few months.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jerusha
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:34:08

    Heavens. On the bright side – once you get through all that cross-country stuff you’re bound to have a few entertaining stories.


  2. poseamonkey
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 10:33:03

    He he indeed, if I manage to book us into the right country at the right time, this is worrying me actually. Have I gotten the dates wrong in my frazzled state?!


  3. Ilse
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:51:33

    Welcome to international families! in our family we have a Dutch father who spent a great deal of his life in South Africa and speaks Afrikaans, English and German, an Afrikaans-speaking wife who works in English and German and two sons who speak both Afrikaans and English, one of whom has married a Chinese engineer who speaks beautiful English but whose parents don’t and the other is seriously dating a Czech student who speaks both English and German beautifully but whose parents don’t. Our get togethers are a combination of Afrikaans, Dutch and English, while the 2 sons are making a valiant effort to learn Mandarin and Czech. It’s a brave new world out there


  4. poseamonkey
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 23:57:32

    Oh my word, Ilse, you have to deal with the UN every day! That is kind of how I feel at work, interacting with people from all over the world, but at least we all have the common denominator of some or other level of English to start off with. Someone has apparently invented some kind of translator you can pin onto your shirt that is kind of like from Star Trek or something, maybe that will be of use in the future :P


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