My German 3 summer school instructor at Berkeley once pulled me aside after class to accuse me of having a deep-seated hatred toward all things German. Irritated, I told her, “Yeah, that’s why I’m spending my summer learning your damn language.”
More than 20 years later, my German-language skills are just as lacking as before, but my relationship to the Fatherland is as complicated as ever. I don’t hate Germany. But, apart from being fond of Berlin (whose openly gay mayor calls it “poor but sexy”), I don’t exactly love Germany either.