July 11, 2008
So Much 2 Say, So Little Time
The past four days have, once again, seemed like at least three each. There are so many things to do, to discover, to take care of, to begin to understand, when one moves to a new country. So many people to meet, places to find, items to arrange and put away, supplies to procure, papers to read, documents to sign, accounts to set up...it seems endless at the time, but I do know that after about six months I will be able to breathe again...based on my recent experiences moving.
However, in this case, instead of breathing I'll be trying to increase my German vocabulary, I think. It's truly pitiful at the moment. I try to start every conversation in German (with my prerehearsed request or greeting), but then almost inevitably the other person comes out with a long string of unintelligible German or Swiss-German words, and I have to resort to my ubiquitous phrase, "Ich spräche nür ein bisschen Deutsch...sprächen-Sie Englisch oder Französich oder Spanisch?" ( = I only speak a little German - do you speak English or French or Spanish?). So far most people have taken me up on English, one person spoke French with me, and no one has spoken Spanish (not surprising). Two people didn't know any of my languages and wanted to go for Italian as an alternative, but that didn't help things. Sign language works quite well too. :-)
Things are going very well so far, most notably:
- Some anonymous neighbours have an open wireless network that we can use easily from our bedroom (this is super-important as our own DSL is still not working, and we do so much information-digging online for just about everything we are trying to get done these days)
- Across the street are some fantastically friendly neighbour children who have invited our kids to play with them every day since day 2 here: soccer, badminton, biking, and today a swimming-in-the-lake invitation (but it didn't work out). There is a 12-year-old boy (only a year younger than Jason), and twin 11-year-old girls (only a year older than Emily) - wow, thank You Lord so so much. What a huge, huge blessing.
- It's incredibly, thrillingly beautiful here. The views even just driving to errands makes my heart sing. Everywhere we look it's steep hills, forest, green pastures, river, lake, or impressive snowy mountains in the distance. From our bedroom we hear a rooster and regular church bells if our window is open.
- The food is yummy.
- Emily's not coughing at all.
- Four horses and a donkey live across the street in a field.
- Only two items were damaged in the move (our piano was scraped & chipped in one small area, and the glass in a big picture frame was cracked). The moving company is being very solicitous to help us get them repaired.
- No rain on all our packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking days (no wet feet tracking around the houses). Wonderful thunderstorm tonight for the first rain since we got here. It's been very summery and sunny and hot.
Oops, I've run out of time for now...
July 11, 2008 | Permalink
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Wow! PTL! I'm so glad to read this. Woo hoo!
Posted by: Helen | Jul 12, 2008 7:03:37 AM
Too funny. I remember those awkward early attempts at languages all too well. My little bit of High School Spanish came in handy when we got to Portugal and no one there spoke anything but Portuguese. Fortunately Spanish was close enough to get by. One of the funniest times was in Denmark when I went into a pharmacy to try and get some allergy medication. I of course don't speak Danish and at the time not a lot of German, but I asked the pharmacist anyways "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" to which she replied "no, do you speak English?" in perfect queen's English. Made me laugh.
Posted by: randall | Jul 12, 2008 2:06:41 PM