I bet you were all wondering where my blog was yesterday, weren’t you, darlings? Well, I was on a slam-tour. And it was great. I went to Dresden and Leipzig (Saxony) and then onto two small towns near Halle – Wolfen and Merseburg. I love people from Dresden and Leipzig. I think they’re my favourite Germans. I also really like the way they speak.
Most German people find the way they speak unbearably ridiculous. They’re always laughing at them. But me, personally, I think they sound sexy. When they say ‘aber‘ they say it like ‘abhor’ but they breathe a lot during the last syllable. A LOT. I really like it. I really like listening to them.
I think maybe it’s because we lived in Wales when I was little – so when I started speaking I had a Welsh accent – and then, when I was around three, we moved to Essex – and Essex and Welsh combined in my mouth and gave me a Birmingham accent. Until I was about five years old, everyone thought I was from Birmingham. Now, the Brummie accent sounds, to most British ears at least, unbearably UNBEARABLY ridiculous. So maybe that’s why I have such a high pain threshold when it comes to unbearably ridiculous accents (also, Saxons are really good-looking). They’re far better-looking than Berliners. I feel like seven percent more heterosexual once I enter the state of Saxony.
So, it was all great and everything, but at the last poetry slam I did (the one at Merseburg) I heard two girls kind of bitching about me.
“She’s like Charlotte Roche,” one said.
“Yep,” the other one said. “She’s just like Charlotte Roche – only worse.”
So I did what any self-respecting (by which I don’t mean self-respecting at all, nobody who takes part in poetry slams has any true respect for themselves whatsoever, that bloke who agreed to get eaten alive by that cannibal had more respect for himself than the average slam poet) girl would do, i.e. I pretended I was Lizzy in Pride and Prejudice when she hears Mr. Darcy saying she’s not handsome enough to tempt him, and ran off to tell all the other slammers what I had heard, chortling delightedly the whole time.
“Oh, God,” one girl said, softly touching my shoulder. “You must feel awful. That’s the worst thing anyone could ever say about you.”
“Oh, no,” I said cheerfully. “Someone once wrote on my blog that they wanted a spastic to insert a gun into my vagina and then an epileptic dwarf to pull the trigger.”
“Did they really? Why?”
“I don’t know. Maybe they were drunk. But you know what these insults are like for me? They’re like water off a duck’s back.”
I have to admit now that I was doing that thing you always do, when I’m drunk – I just start translating idiomatic expressions directly into German. When drunk, I’m always convinced they make 150 percent sense. So I literally said to this girl: “Diese Beleidigungen rennen über mich wie Wasser von dem Rücken eines Entes.” That is literally what I said to her, and I literally mean the word ‘literally’ there. Suddenly I looked at her.
“Wait a minute,” I said. “Do you say that in German?”
She looked back at me carefully and then shrugged. “Nobody I know ever has. But I know what you mean.”
“So what do you guys say?”
She had to think for approximately seven seconds. Then she said: “We say: ‘Das geht mir an den Arsch vorbei.‘”
I looked at her and grinned. “Perfect,” I said. “Diese Beleidigungen gehen mir an die Muschi vorbei.”
But it’s a lie, of course. Really, they totally hurt my feelings. I get so upset. I get so hurt. I get so verletzt. Sometimes, for, like, as long as, like, half an afternoon, I actually consider actually giving up writing. All these things people say about me.
It’s not like they go past my arse, past my vagina, past my body. Nope. Not at all. It’s like they enter my body, it’s like they enter my vagina, it’s like they enter into my soul. It’s like these people who try and insult me are sliding a razor blade inside my vagina and tearing me apart from the inside… unless they start slagging off my punctuation, of course. Then I just think: “Oh, fucking hell. What a bunch of losers.”
Jacinta Nandi’s Lesebühne Rakete 2000 has been nominated for the Der Preis für die Beste Berliner Lesebühne – and you can check it out on Thursday, Nov 10, 21:00 @ Ä.