Saturday, June 28, 2014



My friend who owns the grocery store I always go to had a bunch of ice cream stolen out of his external locked cooler.

Since the only locks protecting it are the usual cheap 'outside of westernized country piece of shit locks a grade schooler can defeat with a screwdriver' variety, he wanted new locks.

Since I know a little about locks, I went with him back to "Praktisch".  Translated from German, the store name is 'Practical'.  Think 'Home Depot'.

Since one of my particular beliefs/stereotypes/prejudices toward Germans is that they can build great stuff, we agreed that any German made locks would be much better than the OOWCPOSLAGSCDWAS variety most people get.

Like most shoppers, the store owner wanted to roam the vast wilderness of crap you don't need in hopes you stumble across what you came for before finding something you didn't  know you can't live without.

Because I am the kind of person I am (a Logan) I headed for the information desk.  Over riding his objections of "I don't think they can speak English" with "I am Logan!", I went and consulted the girls.

When you first start to talk with people in English, you can run into the "Oh, you expect everyone to speak English but you won't learn our language?" thing.  This is to be avoided as it goes nowhere good.

I do this by asking my question then immediately miming what I need in as funny of manner as possible.

If you come across as funny, friendly and maybe a bit insane, indignity comes hard.  Soon, friendly smiles and helpful directions were given.

They even sent a service guy to help us who spoke excellent English.  I complimented him a couple times on it and thanked him for his help.

The equipment was bought.  On the way out, I again thanked the information desk ladies and bid them adieu.


Perhaps the biggest difference is that I'm thinking about how they must perceive me rather than paying attention to my internal monologue.  This could be because I don't find myself particularly important to listen to all the time.

Other people are very interesting to me.  I've always said I already know what I am thinking and feeling.  Hence, I try to be more outward looking.  If I'm mad or flustered this comes harder but when other people can tell you are actually paying attention to them and interested in them, they are happy to at least give you directions.

This did backfire a bit at the cafeteria I normally eat at.  Because I've taken the time to learn the girls names who work there and am always asking how they are and such, they tend to pile on my food a bit much.

And I've not the willpower to resist food...

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