Monday, October 26, 2009

The wrong basket

Duetsch. Oh how this haunts me everyday. I am catching myself thinking. 'Maybe if I just listen a little bit closer....I could understand." Nope. I think when they say "Doosh" It means something completely different from what I understand. In German it means "shower." Just when I think I am understanding. Although I am getting better at it.

I had never thought of how asking Christoph over and over again. "What did he say?" or "What was that?" would be annoying to him until I met our dear friends who are going through the same exact thing.

She is American, he is German. And I see a lot of her in me. "What did he say?" As we are all sitting around a poker table, and all that is being said is German, and you are sitting there thinking. 'What could I learn tomorrow in German that would just blow their minds that I would know something like that.' You think. 'I am going to secretly learn it real fast so that they wont know I can understand them when they are talking about me.'
Other thoughts glide through my mind like. 'I am living in an alien world. They all are saying something that means something, yet I have no idea what that is.' Also I think,
'I wonder what kind of person they are. All I can get from them talking to me is that they have an adorable accent.'
'I wonder what that guy is thinking in a language I don't understand. Or that woman who looks just like a human, and does things just like a human, but is thinking in a completely different tongue than what I know.'
It's fascinating really. All of these people. Millions who live in Hamburg, and I have no idea what they are saying.

The other day in the grocery store, we were hustling around trying to get our hand out to snatch some yogurt, wrestling all of the crazy mothers with their strollers trying to get in their last minute shopping before heading home to cook dinner. We were leaving our cart in different places, as we journeyed around the packed store trying to find the cheap, yet still tasteful version of our choice foods. I was a bit nervous. After all, things move a bit quicker than our gigantic mega supermarts in america, that has basically a checker for every person in the store. No this is a bit different. People are in and out, and if you get in their way, they yell something in German and you have no idea what they just said. But look out next time.
So back to the other day. I was just minding my own business, getting my rice cakes. I put them in our cart, and then moved on. I look at Christoph. He has our cart. A different one then the one I just occupied with my rice cakes. I look back at the cart I just put them in. It was not our cart but the cart of a dear older woman. Shewalks up just after I did this and laughs and smiles at me, and say's something. I could imagine what she said, but I still had no idea. She seemed okay, no sign of annoyance or anything. It is in these times, I really wished I knew what people were saying. I feel like a retard replying to people who speak to me out and about, and when they something to me all I can do is smile and say "Ja!"

They probably think I am some stupid American. I am.

Thankfully this will not last for long. Soon I will be starting my new German class. Until then, I need to avoid all human contact and speak to no one. I will make sure I am always putting my food in my own basket, and when the checker says something to me at the end of my purchase she is probably asking me if I would like to keep the receipt, and all I have to do is nod yes or no. I can do this.

Christoph's mom said to me the other week she can't wait until I start speaking more German, after I asked her husband in German. "Would you like some butcher?" Referring to the plate of meat I was passing him at the table."

They laughed.

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