Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hi Mum

Language barriers really suck. Really suck. It makes me not want to explore as much, because I'm frustrated that I've been here for over a month and a half and yet my German has not been improving. I can read a lot better, and I can understand more. But my ability to orally communicate has mysteriously vanished. I do a lot of nodding, or a lot of pulling my hood over my head. The times I feel ballsy, I'm corrected on my pronunciation, in perfect English. Or they go on and are way too fast for me to comprehend.

Or, in the case of last weekend, they sssh me and tell me it's no problem, when "keine problem, ssssh" is all I understand before I start shouting up the staircase. Opening my jacket and waving my arms around to scare away bobcats. Despite feeling more vulnerable (because really, how much good can a peacoat do against teeth and claws), and thinking two thoughts: how the shit will I get out of here, and I wonder if my German is correct.

Equally frustrating is the fact that I can't figure out for the life of me what kind of shampoo/conditioner/product is the product of my dreams. I mean, it's hard enough when I speak the language. Near impossible when scrunching my hair to the confused woman at Bipa and using words like "Locken" and "Wilde!" and "Meine Traumen moechte shoen Haar," which I'm certain doesn't mean what I want it to mean, but sounds dramatic and pressing in the (probably incorrect) translation in my head.

Sometimes, though, the language barrier is-well, I guess it's still a barrier, but I'm on the opposite side of it. I know people here speak English, but pretending English is as popular and widely spoken as, say, Gaelic, allows for decent subway gossip.


I feel like I should follow this with these statements: I'm having a lot of fun, I saw two operas this weekend, I'm starting to get into the routine of things finally, I'm starting to practice more, I love voice lessons, even more her two dogs that lick my hands as I practice breathing and drink tea, I have a ton of homework that keeps me busy but I'm anxiously awaiting the day bikes start showing up in the Flohmarkt, I'm listening to "Rubber Soul," I got an invitation to Mortar Board that I'm filling out at nearly 1 am Sunday morning, I'm probably going to run out of money, I just put all of eggs in one basket with this recipe I'm trying to make to feed me the rest of the week, and damn it now I really want eggs.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Hi Erin. Scotty told me to read your blog.
Do you need more money?