It’s the little victories…

I’ve been here for nearly a week now and I’m settling in quite nicely! I still can’t believe the palatial nature of my room and the German seems to be going well, too…most of the time. Yesterday I met up with Charlotte, one of the other assistants in Leipzig and we both agreed that the little language/cultural victories are really morale-boosting. This morning was one of those victories, when I went and made an appointment at the bank to open an account, and the woman behind the desk couldn’t believe that I wasn’t German – get in! That was a nice little boost for my German ego, which the day before was left completely and utterly deflated after a disastrous trip into Subway. Even if you don’t know any German, see if you can work out the stumbling block in this dialogue:

Me: Ein 15cm Chicken Fajita Sub bitte!

Subway man: Ja, getoastet?

Me: Wie bitte?

Subway man: Getoastet?

Me: Err, noch einmal bitte?

Subway man: Ge-toast-et?

Me: Umm, ich verstehe nicht…

Subway man (rolls eyes): Vould you like eet toasted?

Me: Oh, yes please… (Cue massive nervous-sweating)

Deutschland 1-0 Paul

I then scurried off to Aldi, leaving a trail of sweat behind me, where a woman with a name badge that said Mrs. Kunt (resisting the temptation to laugh at this point took considerable effort) put my items through the till so fast that she threw my teabags on the floor. Clearly this is an everyday occurrence in Germany because neither she nor the people in the queue behind me flinched at all!

In all seriousness though (for those of you that are probably wanting a more balanced picture of how things are going – hi mum!), the German situation is going really well. Small things like listening to what people are saying on the tram (a completely legitimate thing to do if you’re a language student, by the way) are already feeling a lot easier, which is definitely a good sign, and Leipzig seems like a place that I could really feel at home in given some time to get settled. Vorwärts!

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