I’m not sure if there is an equivalent statement in German, but when life gives you lemons – make lemonade.
Now before you think that something bad has happened, I can set your mind at ease by saying that the exact opposite is true. This morning we went to the church to help set up toys for the children who come with their mothers from the refugee area. The church puts on a weekly activity for the women and their children which I think benefits everyone. Feeling sensitive to being the only male around I headed out into town in search of an outfit for one of our daughters who, along with her classmates, will be in a Fastnach parade. “What is Fastnach?”, you say. Well, good question. It seems that in each area it can be celebrated in different ways, with days of parades and candy being given out to children. Everyone gets dressed up, much like a North American Halloween.
While looking for a very specific costume (that looks like old fashioned pyjamas) for said daughter a small group of people came up to me in the centre of the Munsterplatz and said (in German and some English) that they were music students from Italy on a special class. As part of their sightseeing they were given some strange tasks to interact with the locals. One student held out a lemon and asked if I would trade something of mine for the lemon, but that it couldn’t be cash. The goal was to see which group got the most expensive object in exchange. So what did I give them? I had a German stamp in my wallet worth 0,45 Euro. In our exchange I found out that the students spoke more English than German, and in some cases, they were native English speakers studying in Italy. So for a lemon that cost me 45 cents I also gave them out some of my business cards and told them about the Anglican Church in Freiburg. The students are here for only a short time, but they do stay over the weekend, so maybe I shall see them in church on Sunday.
So next time when someone gives you a lemon, make lemonade…and invite them to church.