When Angela Merkel kept her epic speech about the failure of multi-culturality I was a bit upset. I do believe that you can keep great friendships and learn much about each-other just by saying hello and being nice to that oh I don’t know…. sombrero wearing neighbour of yours. (Initially I wanted to say burqa-clad but lately people have become quite paranoid when it comes to the Muslim world. Included Muslims themselves.) But when it comes down to actually being multicultural I seriously have doubts.
Would I really want to move to Saint-Ouen in Paris just because –as far as I know- it’s more diverse? Or to live in Bronx? Probably just as any other „proper white girl” I wouldn’t. Not that I’m planning to leave my country in the next few years, but I do want to try to live abroad for a while. I was thinking of a place like Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar or Morocco… Note that I’ve never been to any of these places.
For the past few years I’ve been living in a pretty diverse university town, where you have everything from Asians to Africans and every possible religion, colour and culture in-between. I’m really happy about it and I love living there. I have the possibility of engaging in heated debates about the rights of women with a Palestinian, a Berber, a Greek and a Swede in a Turkish Café while drinking Cola and eating pizza.
But when it comes down to love, even if I’m head over heels about those gorgeous medical students with fiery black eyes and over the board egos, I have never had a boyfriend that didn’t speak my language. I remember the first time when I was called „bijou”. I was a bit perplexed. I don’t speak French but aren’t you supposed to compare your girl-to-be to something pricier? Like „Haute Joaillerie”. Though the online translator says that that means „high jewellery-making” I still believe there is a way to turn this into a noun. Like isn’t a Cartier necklace supposed to be more valuable than something you bought at the Accessorize? At least in my language „bijou” means cheap jewellery. Not to mention the first encounter with „habibti”. I was like ok. I understand the „habibti” part but what’s up with that piece of paper with the gibberish writing on it that you keep waving under my nose? Moving to Jordan? Nno. I think I’ll pass. Thank you very much. So I passed a few Hebrew lessons, about 3 or 4 Arabian dialects and the possibility of mastering the miraculous official language of my beloved country. Even though I made a promise to myself not to die without getting a French lover first… I have heard so much about them.
The other day I met up with the guys and somehow we ended up discussing women’s needs. More like the guys talking, and me striking the innocent Bambi look. You know. The one with the big eyes? I was listening to an ode the full length of the Litany of Loreto about the abilities of Mediterranean men. Though I did make the mental note of putting these two on the to-do list. You know. Just to make sure I didn’t miss out something.