Sunday, June 26, 2011

Times change. People don't.

I had quite an adventure last week. Although, now that I find myself trying to organize my ideas to write down my awesome adventure, it seems that it was not so awesome, and also not so much of an adventure. In any case, what happened afterwards was cute.

The bus on which I was riding home last week crashed. It was a little scary and very, very stupid. It was not our driver's fault: the other bus actually came into our lane and broke the window of our bus with his side-mirror. Busses here are so long that the driver did not hear the sound of the glass crushing; thus began the most funny process of communication. "Hey, tell the bus driver he had an accident", said someone at the very back; "Hey, tell the bus driver the window's broken", said someone closer; "The window's crashed, tell the bus driver", said someone else.

OMG. The message was drawing closer to me. So I started thinking: Window = die Fenster. Broken = gebrochen, but a window does not break in German, it... uh... shatters. And "shattered" in German is... uh... no idea. But I did know accident = die Panne. So I could say "window accident"... which makes no sense. I could say, "bus accident, window broken", but that does not explain which bus had an accident.

The girl beside me must have heard my fear and concentration and went ahead to yell the message accross on my behalf. I thanked her.

When the message finally reached the bus driver, his reaction was very German: "Sheiße!", he yelled. And stopped the bus. He instructed all of us to get out of the bus and wait for a replacement. Ten minutes later the replacement bus arrived and I boarded the new bus. I found myself standing by an older lady whom I had seen in the first bus with me; it seemed as though she recognized me as well, because she smiled at me.

She made an open comment about what had happened, but she had not seen it. I had seen the whole thing: I was about 5 rows in front of the accident, and I was facing the back. So I told the whole story (very careful to make sure to decline those words that belong to the N-declination, and to make sure to use the articles in the proper case, and to make sure to use the proper preposition with the proper verb... OMG, I get tired just remembering it all).

By the time I was done, about 5 or 6 people were listening to me, attentively waiting for every detail. And probably sighing in despair every time I used the wrong casus, genus, tempus and what-not. They were all very polite, though, also patient and kind.

I looked at the old lady, who was smiling as if saying, "Good job, dear, bless your heart!" I said to her, "What an adventure, eh?" And she said -

ready for this? -

She said, "Yes! I'll have to write about it in my journal!"

Funny, I thought. I have to write about it in my blog.

Times change.

People most certainly don't.


  1. cute :P viste te he leido drittemal ;)

  2. The lady was certainly cute. But don't worry so much about what people think about your grammar, have you never heard many Germans speak? some of them don't even know there is such thing as an N ;-) just saying, as long as people understand you it is Ok, try to speak the best you can, but son't worry about others think, I am sure they don't even think about that :D