1. Amazing clothes!
2. Competent fruit talk.
3. Beautiful goods you're selling there.
4. Great accent."
How did he react?
He nodded. Listened to all of them, grinned slightly. Looked down, looked up, looked me in the eye and said, "joah... joah.." (which is similar to "ya.. ya...")
How did I feel?
Hans was special. Walking down a farmer's market in Cologne I spotted him from far away. He was wearing a hat and full-on traditional clothes. Busy talking to some customers about his vegetables and fruits he didn't hear me out for a few minutes. Good thing he took his time because that way I got to eavesdrop on his recommendations on how to store the food and when and where to plant or buy it. He was one of those specialists who mix passion with years and years of experience and make you want to sit down, listen to them forever and soak it all in. Another reason I wished he wouldn't stop talking for was his outstanding accent. According to Hans he spoke High German. According to my ears he didn't. All it took was one word from him for me to know he was from Cologne. But the fact that I was able to understand everything he said proves he wasn't speaking proper Kölsch, the Cologne dialect, either because as soon as someone does that I am lost. Kölsch is Germany's most difficult accents, it is close to being it's own language, somewhere between Dutch and German. The Kölsch even have their own constitution:
- Et es wie et es: Es ist wie es ist. = Things are the way they are. (That’s life.)
- Et kütt wie et kütt: Es kommt wie es kommt. = It’ll come as it is. (Don’t worry about it.)
- Et hätt noch immer jot jejange: Es ist immer noch gut gegangen. = Eventually it's always gone well.
- Wat fott es es fott: Was fort ist ist fort. = What is done cannot be undone. (Live with it and stop complaining.)
- Nix bliev wie et wor: Nichts bleibt wie es war. = Nothing stays the way it used to be. (Be open-minded to the new and unknown.)
- Kenne mer nit, bruche mer nit, fott domet: Kennen wir nicht, brauchen wir nicht, fort damit. = We don't know it, we don't need it, we get rid of it!
- Wat wellste maache?: Was willst du machen? = What more can do you? (This is done and you can’t change anything.)
- Mach et jot äwer nit ze off: Mach es gut aber nicht zu oft. = Live life to the fullest- but not too often. (Drinking and partying rocks but make sure to maintain a healthy balance with the rest of your life)
- Wat soll dä Quatsch?: Was soll der Quatsch? = What’s the problem? (What the fuck!?)
- Drinkste ene met?: Trinkst du einen mit? = Down for a drink?
- Do laachste dech kapott: Da lachst du dich kaputt. = This makes you crack up!