The more it goes, the more it is clear to me....
I, Linda Andersson, am an ALIEN!
(at least in this country)!
Before moving here, I thought to myself "We can't be THAT different?!"...well I was wrong!
OK, first of all - I am in most ways to blame for this, after all, I am the one who chose to move here and in all honesty, I haven't tried so hard to learn the language...or change my ways to fit it. Also, I just figured I'll get by on the little German I already knew and on top of this, I've taken another 10-15 lessons.
I have plenty of proof of my Alien-hood (Alien-ness?), but here are 3 clear examples:
1. A few weeks ago, I was at Coop buying groceries... Since I am lactose-intolerant - I wanted to ask the sales clerk if they had any lactose-free ice cream.
Well.....I made the most terrible mistake ever! I started asking in English.
"Excuse me, do you have any lactose-free icecream?"
(please note that lactose-free is laktosefrei in German, quite similar in my opinion?).
"All ice cream is gluten-frei".
I can assure you, that even after switching to German - I didn't get any ice cream that day...
2. Last summer, I was hiking in the alps. At that time, I thought I was more or less fit....maybe not at my all time high or anything, but OK'ish.....again - I was wrong!
To hike up that mountain, it took about 2-3 hours. During these hours, I had to stop 12 times and the higher we got - the more I felt like I was getting an astma-attack! OK....so I've heard this is quite normal if you've never hiked at this altitude, but this is what really surprised me:
After 30 minutes climbing up this very steap mountain, 4 guys on bikes pass me by!
They were biking uphill almost the same speed as me on a normal road......... What the?!
15 minutes later - a couple overtakes us - SMOKING (...and talking...and laughing!)!! How is that even physically possible?! I could barely breathe with pure air in my lungs (oh, and let's just say I didn't feel entirely thankful for the passive fumes...).
I was in shock, but when we finally reached our destination - we had been overtaken by another 5 groups of people, all smoking. I am clearly the abnormal one!!!
3. Going to the hairdresser for me used to be a time to relax and be pampered. Now it's a time of confusion and fear (Yes, fear.... I am barely exaggerating!).
I want my hair classic, no fuss, just natural..... In Sweden, I could go to my hairdresser and say "Do what is needed" or "Do what you think will suit me" and I'd get out of there looking more or less the way I'd expect... I'd feel tired - but relaxed because I would have probably fallen asleep in the chair.
In Switzerland, going to the hairdresser, I wave to be on the alert!
We can only communicate with body or sign-language and a few words of english or german..... ...and seriously, even if I had studied German like an A-student this year, hair-dressing terms would probably not have been a part of the basics course anyway ;))
Also, let's just say our styles are veeeery diffrent... Not saying mine is good and their is not, it's just very diffrent.....and one thing is for sure:
Falling asleep is NOT an option!
I now have three choices.....
1. Accept that I am an alien and stop complaining!
2. Do something about it!!
3. Combine the above.....
I'm aiming at number 3, but it's going to be a loooong and tricky road!
I'll keep you posted ;)
Linda - An alien lost in Switzerland