Thursday, October 14

¿Habla du you Sveenglés?

Honestly, I feel like a big jerk for going to another country without knowing the language. The fact that we were moving to Sweden didn't set in when we bought the tickets, or even when we packed our suitcases. The Atlantic Ocean sparkling beneath our plane finally panicked inspired me to not be an A-hole Ethnocentric American and figure out some Swedish. Luckily, the screen in front of me had a "game" you could play to learn one of 20 languages. Sveedish! I frantically flipped through the virtual flashcards (after all, I did graduate with a minor in Cramming).

Airplane Edutainment taught a few basic words for traveling, polite manners, and two sentences:
"I don't understand."
"I love you."

...thus rendering both useless because I was TERRIFIED of mixing the two up.

Swede:    "Hi, do you know when the next train leaves?"
Myself:     "I LOVE YOU."
Swede:    ...oh god. do I have time to run....?

Luckily, most Swedes (love that word) are fluent in English. At least that's what I reassured myself as I went on a quest to figure out what our freaking address is here. That's right, not only did we hardly know any Swedish, but no one from the university had sent us an address. (Our friend met us at the train station and told our taxi driver which apartment complex, and luckily we knew what apartment, but that was it. We had no idea how to write an address that would be decipherable to the Swedes.)

My quest depended on finding a neighbor who was responsible enough to know how to write an address around here. I picked a door to knock on, nervously practicing "Hej, talar du engelska?" (Hi, do you speak English?) under my breath, when lo and behold, THIS GUY opened the door.

Or at least a Swedish version of him; sorry to send all you LOTR/Lost fanatics into squirrelly, frothing frenzies.

Those were an awkward few seconds as I struggled to remember my line. His eyebrows twisted in confusion as I spit it out, then something clicked and he said, "Oh, yeah I speak English." Music to my A-hole Ethnocentric American ears, I tell ya.

He explained that I had some kind of weird accent that made it sound like I was speaking drunken Danish, but I can go with that for now.

P.S. -->

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