2.07.2007

sometimes i think i can almost speak german, other times...

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It seems like everything is just a letter or two off and it's easy to understand words like diskount and aktion. Names, too, seem to just have one letter changed like Monika and Veronika, or the name of a hotel that my hubby pointed out Hotel Romantik - just the addition of the "k" makes the hotel not so according to him.

Some things are spelled differently but sound like what they are like cold is kald and warm is warm (except its pronounced "varm").

But just when you start getting used to things meaning like what they sound... Other things are the opposite like who is were and where is wo but at least what is was which sounds alot like wäsche which means wash and not what.

Then there are times, like yesterday, where I was looking everywhere for a fruit tart for hubby's birthday. After a fruitless search of the bakeries in the town center, I went into a bakery trying to order it. I realized that they thought I must be ordering something dead - torte sounds alot like tot means dead in German as opposed to a tart or toddler.

I hurried down to Hauplatz and bought and English-German dictionary*.

So, I'm back at the bakery.

The ladies behind the counter sigh heavily and shoot each other a look. I whip out my new little dictionary and wave it in the air. Undeterred, I signaled, "Let's try this again..." The counter ladies stared laughing and one said "Ist gute Frau!" which roughly translated means, what a good wife or woman or... whatever (who am I kidding, I can't speak German, yet).

I was feeling pretty confident right about then... ordering an Obsttörchten but there is one thing dictionaries can't help you with: the barrage of foreign words that come back when someone answers you.

"Obsttörchten , obsttörchten, obsttörchten ?!?!" I repeated helplessly.

I think I ordered a Fruit Tart... but I'll have to see what I end-up picking up tonight.

It'll be a surprise for both of us.



*"Why am I buying a dictionary now?!?!" don't worry I haven't been without help. Since our arrival I've been using an Italian-German dictionary but for the life of me I couldn't remember the word for Tart in Italian.

2.05.2007

copy & paste: OMG, Whad did I get myself into?

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From the Graz Metroblog...

We just bought a house in Graz, and I went to take a look at if for the first time since the owner moved out. When she lived there, it looked like we could move-in no problem but, yesterday, I got a little reality slap. She had mentioned she was moving to an apartment and may be leaving some things behind. At the last minute during price negotiations, they asked for 20,000E for "all" of her furniture - some pieces where nice mind you but we have our own we didn't need all her stuff - we said no. So now, the first time that I get a look at the house they stripped everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. I was expecting the light fixures to go but she took all the carpeting off the stairs along with all the bars to hold it there - what the heck will she need that for in her new apartment?!? She also removed all the hardware to hold up curtains (wow, what a conicidence her new windows are the same number and size of our house, that's a lot of windows for an apartment) and the walls are filled with holes and hundreds, hundreds of nails. Am I over-reacting in thinking that taking the carpet and curtain hardware is a bit extreme and petty or is this standard fare in Austria? Also, the place is a dirty, dusty, dump. Without all her paintings and carpets covering everything it needs more work than we thought.

We're moving in next week.

The relocation specialist asked me, "Do you have a vacum cleaner?" I had to laugh.... I don't need a vacum, I need a miracle!

Uuuuugh.