Für Freunde der englischen Sprache II: Die Bonnerinnen kommen! / East-West Relations

27. März 2024

Ich zitiere Chef-Übersetzerin Katy aus dem August 2002: „Die anderen wollen die Geschichte nicht auf unsere Homepage setzen, wegen Verklemmtheit mal wieder. Also schenken wie dir die Übersetzung, sozusagen. Wie du dir vorstellen kannst, ist der Titel sehr schwer zu übersetzen, da die meisten englischsprechenden Leute nicht wissen, was Bonn für eine Stadt ist, und wir keine weibliche Form für „Bonner“ haben. Also wurde er kurzerhand ganz umgeändert.“ Wie auch immer. Ich bedanke mich bei Katy & Co. auch gerne 22 Jahre später noch einmal, auch wenn aus Wolfgang Niedecken plötzlich Sting wurde. Auf die Völkerfreundschaft!

East-West Relations

It’s one of those evenings when I’m using culture as a pretext for indulging in alcohol. I’m standing at the bar and waiting for the evening’s entertainment to start. Next to a woman. She appears to be all alone in the world. So I ask her when it’s going to get started and what’s on the programme. That’s my personal version of „Do you come here often?“ She doesn’t know, so I tell her. „Oh, it’ll probably start soon. It’s one of those discussion evenings: Lesbians Ask – Builders Answer. It shouldn’t take too long.“

She speaks with a slight Rhineland accent. Reason enough for me to ask her, „So, where are you from? The Rhineland?“ This question can be varied in a number of ways, but it’s been known for women to respond by expressing their dissatisfaction with politics, their personal problems, or even apparently relating their entire life stories. I usually fake sympathy and then they just leave. That’s not what I had in mind. Silke, on the other hand, this cheerful Rhinelander, just says, „Yes, I’m from Bonn. It’s near Cologne.“

I don’t mind where she’s from. At least Silke’s not a hard-up girl dreaming of a flat in a more up-market district of Berlin. I don’t have a problem with strange women’s money problems, just with their expensive tastes. I’m sure I don’t have to put on a show for Silke so I seem more hip. She knows I have a timeless charm. We’ll probably have a good time together as long as she interprets my dull silence as intense interest.

We get on well. It’s a clear case – we’ll go mushroom picking and take boat trips. But first we’ll see what’s happening at this Mad Hatter’s tea party. I make malicious comments, she chips in, bitching about people who are always beating around the bush. About doddery, scruffy men and nondescript, oddball women. We don’t like tiresome, know-it-all sectarians. Silke is a gift from the gods, sent to make up for that woman who wanted to discuss literature with me. Silke wants to kiss all the time. With her mouth slightly open, quite dry, just a little bit of tongue. „But don’t touch my tonsils!“

What a shame, I think, because women always kiss the way they do something else later. At least she doesn’t smoke. Spares me that breath of decay. She has no intimate piercings, she tells me unprompted. That would have been embarrassing if I’d introduced her to my parents. We make a lovely couple. Lovely, but hideous. A woman with one leg and three arms and a man with two heads. It sounds unlikely but it’s more or less true. We are hideous, hideous, hideous. But objectively we are lovely, really lovely. „My place or yours? Shall we take a taxi or a wheelchair?“

Silke lives almost opposite the house that’s not there any more because of a gas explosion. Everything’s very modern in her uptown flat: central heating, gramophone, bathtub. This lovable cultural imperialist has decorated her walls with romantic revolutionaries: Che Guevara, Karl Marx, Sting. „Give us a kiss. Off to the bathroom with you!“ Hmm. In my old flat the hot water comes out lukewarm. But here? I hold my nether nozzle under the tap and turn on the hot water. But it’s not lukewarm here! Damn these modern flats! Shortly afterwards I’m fully recovered.

If you want to spend the night in Silke’s flat but not in her bed, you needn’t bother staying there at all. What a woman! Maybe even the last unmodern female in our over-sexualised culture. I hadn’t even noticed her perfect figure underneath the alternative get-up. She has a condom at hand. „With pleasure“.

With as much pleasure as I would struggle into a diving suit. The sensations of tenderness are followed up by a firework of feelings. „Give us a kiss“. A pubic hair tickles my tonsils, it won’t come out. I choke a little and transfer it to her thigh with my tongue. Silke forgives me. She wants to be on top though. „No, no! Oh, alright then“. She’s too forthright for my tastes. Her sense of rhythm is not the same as mine. „Silke, my Blitzkrieg of joie de vivre, I’m a Berliner, I ‘ave to be in charge!“ With me back on top, we see-saw back and forth uninhibitedly.

We don’t have to like each other. We fantasise like carefree masturbators. Slowly we get to know each other. Silke is not one to savour in silence. Methinks she fevers. It’s cruel but it makes me laugh. The evil condom is long forgotten, it’s lying on the floor somewhere. And so the inevitable comes. „Give us a kiss!“ and off to the land of nod. A short time later: „Good morning! Time to get up! Breakfast!“ On the one hand, Silke is wonderful at making coffee and fetching fresh rolls. She’s certainly not one of those women who proudly proclaim that they can’t cook, as if that inability was an achievement. On the other hand, Silke is good at asking awful questions: „Why are you acting so lovestruck? Don’t you find that embarrassing?“ „But Silke, it’s just an act!“

Our financial discrepancies are also high on her agenda. I am a labourer. She is an emancipated woman. She can afford to pay my keep. I don’t mind. She is an American from Bonn. That’s near Cologne. I am a Russian from Berlin. She has to go to work, to speed up the government’s move from Bonn to Berlin. „Yes, Sundays too!“

I have to go and watch football. But that’s enough about sport.