Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The German lesson.

Now you're probably wondering,  just why oh why would I sign up for German lessons,  pray tell?
Well,  here's the thing.
Way back when we made our little journey to Puerto Rico,  there was no such thing as a "Relocation company",  so muggins here (that would be me...) had to use his vast knowledge of grade 10 Spanish to not only find us a house,  but to do damned near everything else,  including all the shopping,  getting various services such as internet and phone etc.,  Talking with the pool guy....

We managed.

There were a couple moments there when to this day I haven't a clue what the heck I said in Spanish to make those people laugh so hard,  but that's another story.
It was all good.
(plus,  you can laugh all you want,  but guess what?  I get to go home.....)

Let's now skip forward to 2008.   We're going to Europe.
Turns out,  the company that cannot be named  NOW has  (after a few folks complained I'm thinking) this vast network of "help".  Cultural training,  language training....not to mention an actual person....remember Relocation Lady?  who will help with all that other "stuff".  Trust me,  there are forms to be filled out...

My first response to these Ex-Pat goodies?   "Sign me up!!".    "Whatever it is,  dammit,  I'm takin' it!"

Of course,  that meant in the Netherlands that we'd be taking Dutch lessons which,  in the grand scheme of things was something I took in stride,  and sort of added to the "portfolio"  so to speak.  For my travelling companion however,  it was really pretty tough,  and I'm not so sure she learned too much at all.  It's all good mental exercise,  so no harm, no foul.  It's not like waking up one morning with say,  a tattoo or something along those lines....it's just some extra knowledge.  It won't hurt.  Really.

Besides, she's a "math type",  and language learning sometimes just doesn't compute.

We did decide that we didn't really need the "cultural training",  since we've pretty much figured out the "culture"  around here.  I'm not going to go down that road,  since we won't be indulging in any sort of negative banter today.

note:  culture shock....there's no heat in the churches here....would that be included in the "cultural training"?  (rolls his eyes)

I doubt it.

Where was I?


In the case of my travelling companion, she has set a certain goal when it comes to learning German, and well....it's not my place to divulge.  Not unless I'm on the next plane outta here.  Let's just say it's a lofty goal and I'll have to leave it at that.

Goals are good.

So naturally she signed up for the whole enchilada of 100 hours of language training,  while I was more or less wondering if I should do anything at all,  and eventually a decision was made that perhaps I should take say,  20 hours?
The relocation company got wind of this,  and were quick to point out that in fact,  I'm entitled to the same 100 as the big boss.   So there you go.

Do they get a cut,  do you think?

Now let's skip forward to today.

Had my first "lesson".   What it really consisted of,  was sitting over coffee and yakking in German for almost two hours. 
I know!  Where did the time go?  I didn't even know I knew that much German.  Who thought I could yak that much?

Just a minute there,  don't answer that one.  There's some genetic predisposition in there somewhere,  but I'd rather not go into genealogy at the moment,  thank-you.

Mind you,  since I haven't really been pressed into speaking German for neigh on 30 years,  there were some "holes" from time to time,  and it was at that moment when my teacher would make some suggestions, as well as take some notes,  so that I'd actually be able to make some improvements.  I'm told I'll  be getting a nice neat copy of the notes at our next visit.

See,  that's where we're going here.

 I also made sure I pointed out that there were some things I need to know in German,  the words for which I really and truly haven't much of a clue of in English either.  Going to the butcher comes to mind.  It's just a bunch of meat in there.  With the exception of perhaps tenderloin, I don't know what any of it is called.
And no,  we won't be always buying tenderloin either.   Not chopping that up into hamburger meat!

Though having the lofty goal of studying German literature for four years at McMaster was all fine and good,  it doesn't really help at the grocery store when you're looking for the equivalent of say, Tenderflake?

There,  I said it.

My whole reason for taking language lessons.

I need lard!

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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.