English to German translation – when time stands still
I guess there is both good, and not so good with the moments where you realize, or are so focused inside a moment where time seems to slow down around you, as if in slow motion. It is the moment when your mind either is completely in control or, you have no control in your surroundings.
I remember one time in college during a football game where I realized my mind could take control of an exhausted body to give more. It was an amazing moment that has been a model that the limits we seem to impose on ourselves, are simply that, known limits. If we desire, we can work to go further than we knew.
Another time is me seeing about a second of time when I was rear ended in an auto accident. I saw the car behind me, seeming oblivious that I was making a left turn, and despite hitting the gas to try to get away, the collision happened in slow motion. I still remember how far my back and neck must have bent as I watched the headliner of the car and then could see the car that hit me, but not from the rear view mirror, rather from my head somehow bent back over the seat and looking behind.
Today, my one brother in law is alone as his wife and kids went to the zoo. My wife is gone off to work, so I was thrilled to realize I could make American hamburgers for a meal. I was caramelizing onion when she said, “sorry, we don’t have bread, you will have to go down to the tanksteller to get bread today, as no shops are open.”
I swear in my mind I heard, “sorry, we don’t have any bread, you will have to go down to the train station to get bread today, as no shops are open.” (I am trying to think if she said it in German or English?)
All I remembered was train station is actually bahnhoff, tanksteller is gas station – I was confused.
As I allowed the onions to do their hour or two reduction on slow heat to bring out the wonderful succulent juices of sweetness and the spice rub to accommodate the burgers, I hopped on my bike and decided my cardio for the day would be to go to the train station for bread while my mind thought, “why did she say to go there? There are closer shops?”
I am almost fast enough to go the speed limit for a car, so I was so excited at not having to stop at the traffic circle to loose momentum. It was then that I saw the tanksteller to my right, with what appeared to be a bratwurst grill open and people standing there. I remember my mind thinking
“Why am I going to the train station, when the gas station has bread? And the bratwurst stand probably will sell me some great fresh rolls?”
Then I looked at where I was going and saw, that taking a moment to go in a linear line is not very wise when in a traffic circle.
If you ever watch a Judo master, they have perfected the ability to relax their body a moment before hitting the ground. It happens so fast, that you almost don’t realize they are doing it. I am not sure if I had that moment, or a guardian angel pulled on me as I hit the curb and went flying to hit what must have been a perfectly horizontal crash to the pavement with a bounce.
All I remember was time standing still and unlike the out of body experience with playing football, this moment as I hurtled through space that was more like, “this isn’t going to end well when my momentum meets a static force called a street.”
It must have been a nice wreck to watch. There was a woman standing nearby who shrieked, “my god, are you hurt?”
Call it wounded pride, but as I lay on the ground for a few moments waiting for my body to let me know what was cut, scraped, or broken, I simply got up, picked up the bike, moved my body and realized all the parts seemed to be working and then rode off.
When I saw my wife, I asked, “Am I dripping blood anywhere?”
“I had a wreck on the bike.”
The first thing she asked was, “Did you break the bike? How is it?”
When I was home, I asked my brother in-law if he had his toolbox so I could adjust the bike parts. I told him what happened, that I was going to the train station and couldn’t understand why my wife told me that.
My brother in law laughed, “Mark, she said go to the tanksteller.”
At that very moment, I understood the confusion in translation and how my mind heard English, when the word was actually German. Bahnhoff is train, gas station is tanksteller.
Such was Sunday. As mentioned, I have no idea how I got out without skin attached to the pavement, but miraculously, all is good, except for my wounded pride.
Have a great day.