---------------------------------------------- I was born in Taif, Saudi-Arabia in a military hospital. I was one of the first (maybe even the first) European babies born there and caused quite a stir.
My father was an electrical engineer from Pakistan, charged with bringing electricity to the country. Some of my first memories involve peacocks in the garden of the royal summer palace --- one of the duties my father had was to make sure that the royal family was well supplied with electricity!
My mother is a German journalist who interrupted her career to go on an Arabian adventure and from whom I presumably have a good portion of my love of language.
I grew up trilingual in German, English, Urdu with a bit of Arabic thrown in, but thought that that was normal. Indeed, I was astonished when the doctor in Germany was astonished when I asked him *which* language I should count to 20 in. Checking on counting ability is one part of the overall, standard examination to determine fitness to go to school in Germany, but one only needs to be monolingually fit.
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