Today’s Special

9 Feb

Yup, today is special. Why? Let me start first by telling you what happened.

Let me tell you how it went. First off, I was walking home from work. In front of my building, I bumped into this young man with his baby on a stroller. He asked me something that I had no idea what is was. Shame on me, but he talked really fast for a beginner like me. Luckily, he pointed at his wrist, and suddenly I realized, aha! He was asking for time. Instantly I said to myself, “Alright, dude, this is your chance. Show what you’ve got.” Moreover, even though I didn’t have any watch, I had my cellphone with me, and with full of confidence I grabbed it from my pocket. But oh snap, the phone was off! Heck, it’s not the time to step back, plus I didn’t know how to say “My phone is off” in German. So I just played it cool, waiting my phone to turn on, while seeing him throwing a weird look to me, kind of signaling, “What the heck took you so long, man?” But I guess he knew I don’t speak fluent German.

A couple seconds later, my phone was on, and it was showtime. I tried my best to tell him the time in German. It was very choppy, and took me some time to arrange the words in my head before I said it. But hey, it works!! He repeated what I said and thanked me. I was too slow to think about saying “You’re welcome,” so I just threw a big smile and left.

Now I want to tell you why it’s very special to me. It is so, because finally, I could feel again the interaction in communication, the feeling of inclusion and immersion with the society. My COM (Communication) teacher used to tell me that communication is what makes human be “human,” and I totally second her argument.

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2 Responses to “Today’s Special”

  1. Dawn Walker February 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    CONGRATULATIONS on your first successful German interaction.

    I remember the first time someone asked me in France for the time (she did not ask me for the time in the way I learned from my French teachers in the U.S). I believe I gave this person directions to the beach (or the parc… I remember it was a word that began with the letter “p.” To be honest, it probably was a nonsense word).

    The point of this story is to let you know you are doing far better with your German skills than a lot of people around the world who are studying abroad:-)

    Congrats again!

    Best wishes,
    Dawn
    (the person who sat in the front of the study abroad office, but not the person behind the v.i.p. reception desk)

  2. Andreu in Germany February 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Thank you. And I’ll be sure to keep it up. =)

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