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A Directionless Conversation

, , , | Right | June 24, 2022

I went to Germany with my parents while my mum was on sabbatical. I studied German for one year in high school, and I was doing extra studying with a tutor, but I didn’t have many practical language skills. I realized while at the mall that I needed to find the toilet, and I was excited because I had just learned how to ask. I found the nearest attendant.

Me: “Bitte, wo ist die toilette?”

The attendant said something back in very rapid German. I paused, and then said in English:

Me: “Sorry, I knew how to ask where the toilet was, but I didn’t think about whether I would understand the answer. Can you repeat that in English?”

I got a rather dirty look from the attendant, who wasn’t impressed by me wasting her time. The next time I met with my tutor, I insisted we start learning words used in directions so that I would be ready if the situation ever happened again.

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