My life lately goes something like this.
Me ‘Hi (BIG smile), do you speak English?
Person ‘little (while blushing and looking around a little bit panicked)’.
Im not sure why people get embarrassed, clearly the problem here is mine, Im the one in a foreign country that doesn’t speak the language (although Im picking it up, rather fast!). I must say, I have been fortunate to have some awesome people helping me. The lady in the line in the post office who helped me translate when the cashier spoke no English, the customer in the Orange shop who helped me translate. The manager in Piotr i Pawel who took his time to help me translate food labels today. Then we have the even more patient people who my hubby helps to translate to, the awesome lady in the Pesel number place who patiently helped me with forms and everything while hubby was being passed between us (on the phone, obviously). The doctor who got given A’s entire medical history first by me in english and then by hubby in Polish over the phone, who waited patiently while hubby translated all the dosages of new meds to me and made sure I understood. The NC+ installation guy who had the hubby on skype translating for us.
I zone in on the younger people now if I need to ask something, they are more likely to speak English well it seems, like the girl in H&M who has lived in London and who nearly made me cry with her perfect East End accent, the girl in the Mac shop who has studied in Cambridge and speaks the queens English almost as well as the Queen. These are the people I almost want to hug! Being understood is such a huge part of life, I never realised what a difference it can really make in how we feel.
So I struggle on, but more then anything, I am managing, thanks to awesome people in shops and a very patient husband.
And then there is my new book…..
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