Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today's Adventure

For today's adventure I went to the grocery store, alone. For the record grocery stores in Indonesia are much more English friendly than German stores. Many of the food labels in the stores in Indonesia are in English. There are NO labels in English in the local Rewe (pronounced ree-vay). Not only that but German people expect you to speak German. Imagine that, speaking German... in Germany.

This weekend we escaped the piles of boxes waiting to be unpacked and went on a drive. Along the way we stopped at a fruit stand to buy some plums. David asked the guy (in English) if they were sweet. The guy looked blankly at David, said something in German, turned to another man standing by, said something in else in German and both men looked at us and grinned. At this point I had the definite feeling we were being laughed at. What he said next confirmed it. "What you think everyone should speak your language? Is yours the only language?" This was said in perfect and only slightly accented English. I am sure that the looks on mine and David's face were hilarious.

There was a long pause before David replied, "We have just arrived and haven't learned German yet."

To which the man responded, "You come back in a month and you speak German. OK? Or Spanish or Italian, or even Portuguese."

My brain finally kicked in. "How about Indonesian? Itu manis?"

"Or Russian?" David added then said something, but I have no idea what or if it had anything to do with whether or not the plums were sweet. Sounded good though.

The guy decided we were funny and sold us the plums which were indeed sweet.

I made it to the store and back this morning without linguistic mishap. Probably because the only time I opened my mouth was to say "Danke" when the cashier gave me my change. In case you are wondering I bought one carrot, one bunch of celery and a loaf of bread. I did not have to buy a bag because I remembered to bring my own (made from recycled trash). All this cost about 5 euro.

5 comments:

Jenn said...

That's great, I can picture you guys there! Speaking Indonesian and Russian in GERMANY! lol How much is 5 Euro in dollars??

Terio said...

Ok All I can say is that David bought the German Language program for you BOTH to study and no speak German!

Erlernen Sie, dass Deutscher so dann Sie weiß, wenn die Pflaumen vor Ihnen schmecken sie süß sind!

Shannon said...

When you arrive you can do all the translating for us! For further feedback on you comment see this weeks wordless wednesday!

Jen Jen in Jakarta, Indonesia said...

I am loving your updates. I can't believe the contrast between Jakarta and Germany.
It sounds so fun!
I liked seeing the photos of your house it makes it more real!
Grayson looks so grown up going off to kindergarten.
It is called kindergarten in Australia too. I still can't believe how I turned to a group of people years ago and announced that "oh look Germans call it kindergarten too...."

Jae said...

I know it's got to be hard, this new life, but still, for those of us stuck in SA, it sounds so COOL and worldly! LOL! I'm sorry, I'm suburban mom ... (sigh)

and don't worry, you two will be speaking the language in no time. :)