Language Barrier

There’s not much going on right now other than driving on highways towards the north. That gives me the opportunity to write a little bit about the English language. After living in Columbus OH for two years I thought that my English is not bad and that I’m able to express myself quite fluently at least in everyday situations. After traveling in Australia for two months my confidence is slowly crumbling and it started all in a Burger King which they call Hungry Jack’s here. As usual in the US I asked the person behind the desk for two medium cups so that I can fill them on the soda fountain with club soda and coke. She answered with “pardon, what did you say?”. Even back in Columbus people sometimes had a hard time to understand me probably because of my accent so I repeated my wish as clearly as I could. Her answer to that was “Do you only need two empty cups?” and I could see that she was already getting slightly uncomfortable most likely because there is no preset price for a medium empty cup on her register. To help her out I said “No, I would like to fill them with club soda and coke”. First I thought she didn’t understand me again, but then she asked me “What is club soda?”. For the next two minutes or so I tried to explain what I meant with club soda. I included words like sparkling water, water with sparkles in it, bubbly water, with bubbles infused water, the shit that doesn’t make you fat, but all I got from her was “I don’t understand”. I was already considering leaving the place without any drinks but then she must have had a clear moment and asked “Do you mean soda water?”. I said “Yes pleeeease…” and paid for the two medium cups. As I found out, in one of my own clear moments, the price for a soda water is the same as for any other soft drink but I didn’t want to start another discussion about that topic. Happy with what I’ve had achieved I went to the soda fountain and filled both of my medium cups with soda water respectively coke.

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  1. Hall Michi
    Wenn ich mich an meine Verständigungsprobleme in Australien zurück erinnere, so beruhigt mich Deine Erfahrung doch etwas. Aber auch wir mussten nicht verdursten und auch nicht hungern. Somit ist einmal mehr bestätigt, dass es irgendwann immer eine Lösung gibt. In diesem Sinn wünsche ich euch einen weiterhin spannenden Tripp.
    Liebe Grüsse

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