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From the old country

March 29, 2011

Doesn’t that phrase conjure up images of matzoh ball soup, grannies knitting special things and old pieces of lace? Ha ha. It won’t after you read this hysterical post I came across the other day – The Russian Remedy for Hemorrhoids.

As anyone who has a partnership with someone whose native tongue is something different than yours knows, language barriers can be terribly frustrating and hysterically funny. All depends on the day and the situation.

 When my Czech (now) Hubster and I first vacationed together, he was living in Prague and I in San Jose. He planned a trip to America, and together we planned a 3-week road trip. I daydreamed about the time we’d spend bonding in the car driving from one glorious national park to the next, singing my favorite road trip songs together, playing word games and all the other fun road trip time wasters. In my mind, I had built up the coming into this fantastical travel for two.

The reality? Not quite as glorious. No singalongs. He didn’t know many of the songs and certainly not the words. I could quickly kick his butt at any word game in MY native language. Thinking and speaking in English 24/7 for 3 weeks in a row – which he had never done before – drained the hell out of him. And he honestly did not know which food place he wanted to stop at – he had never heard of most of them.  Plus, he was nervous.

And me, well I had all this anticipation built up inside me – my idealized vision for our romantic and adventurous getaway. So  he stressed while I stewed. Needless to say, Yosemite, our first stop, wasn’t our favorite place.

I freaked while he struggled with what to do with and say to me. I think I told him that he was acting like a dick or something. He couldn’t imagine me saying something so terrible to him. We both sulked.

We got over it, found a way to communicate through it and went on to have a tremendous experience together .. . during that trip and for the last few years. But language differences are a regular challenge and laugh.  As are  cultural differences. But the day I see my Hubster stick a piece of potato up his popa? Well, we’re gonna have us a little sit down about adapting.

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