Thursday, January 29, 2009

Terrifying German Language Experiences

On the U3 to the Heuriger. A man sits across from us. Long dark blonde hair, stubble, camera positioned in his lap. He looks at the three of us, and then nonchalantly takes a picture of MK. Could have been more subtle if he had turned off the flash. We all look at each other. A minute later, he takes one of me. And then another. And another. And another, over the course of a few stops. MK, N, and I are bewildered and mildly uncomfortable. I decide to take action.

Me: Enschuldigung?
Him: Hm?
Me:... Wie... nehmen Sie.... photo?
Him: (German German German)
Me, looking to N and MK for help: Langsam, bitte?
Him: (German German German)
Me: I'm sorry, my German is sehr schlect....
Him: Hobby.
Me: Oh.
Him: (German German German)
Me: I'm sorry?
Him: (German German German)
Friend: He's asking if you're ok with it, I think.
Me: (shrug. What if I was Aboriginal? Can't really untake a picture)
Me: Wie heissen Sie?
Franz: Franz
Me: Ok. Ich heisse Erin.
He got off at the next stop.
MK: I'm probably going to be on some random website.
N: You shouldn't have told him your name, he's gonna tag you on Facebook.

The other experience was at the grocery store when I asked the cute clerk if he had baking powder. When he showed me the back pulver, I thanked him and he started to leave, turning around a few feet away.
Him: (German German German "Treffen" German German "Telefonnummer")
Me: I'm sorry?
Him: (German German German)
Me: (blank stare)
Him: Shit.
Me: No, I'm sorry, I'm really dumb.
Him: Maybe we meet? Coffee?
Me: Uh.
Him: Do you have telefonnummer?
Me: Oh. Oh. You're asking me out. Oh. Um. Yea, but I don't know it. Also, I have a boyfriend.
Him: (runs away)
Me: I'm sorry?

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