Very Green With The Language

| Birkenfeld, Germany | Friendly | April 10, 2014

(I am stationed in Germany with the U.S. Military. I learned German before arrival, and spend time in a few local bars with other military members. We are always polite to the servers and never get rowdy. About three months after I am assigned, a new guy shows up. He is a pretty rude type, but we allow him to tag along his first evening in country. He doesn’t know a word of German. A couple of beers into the evening, he looks at me and asks:)

New Guy: “How do you say ‘pretty’ in German”?

Me: “Why”?

New Guy: “I want to tell our waitress that I think she is pretty.”

Me: “Grün” *which actually means GREEN*

New Guy: “Hmmm. So how would I tell her she is very pretty”?

Me: “You say ‘Du bist sehr grün.’” *you are very green*

(My companions are doing their very best not to laugh. The waitress comes to the table and he pipes up and says it very clearly and very loudly. She just looks at him strangely, and I rattle off an apology for my friend and tell her that he is drunk. She stays away from his side of the table for the rest of the evening. The new guy has the hardest time trying to figure out why she was offended.)

Destroying The Song, Solo

| Norway | Friendly | April 9, 2014

Friend #1: “Whenever I reread something now, I find that I missed a lot of sexual references and dirty jokes the first time around.”

Friend #2: “Me too. It took me forever to realise that the song Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go was about masturbation.”

Friend #1: “That song is not about masturbation!”

Me: “It was. What did you think it was about?”

Friend #1: “Well, a couple, and he wants her to say goodbye properly before she leaves in the morning. Actually, I think you guys are just overly dirty-minded.”

Friend #2: “So how do you explain ‘I don’t wanna miss it when you hit that high?'”

Me: “Maybe he reeeeally likes to see her drink her triple espresso in the morning… and then he wanna hit that high, too. That totally makes sense, right?”

Friend #1: “You two are destroying my childhood.”

Giving It To You Straight(ened)

| Groningen, Netherlands | Friendly | April 9, 2014

(I meet a friend after leaving a hairdresser to have my hair straightened.)

Friend: “You lost something.”

Me: “Hmm, what?”

Friend: “Your curls.”

(A bit later, I put a picture on Facebook of the new hairdo, to which the same friend reacts.)

Friend: “You lost something.”

Me: “My curls?”

Friend: “No, your dignity.”

Found In Translation

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Friendly | April 9, 2014

(While I would never judge, it is a fact that my housemate is a person who enjoys the company of many partners. I have borrowed my housemate’s car to retrieve mine from the mechanic. My friend and four-year-old daughter are in the car. My daughter is a fan of a certain Spanish speaking Mexican girl and this is the only Spanish she could possibly know.)

Daughter: “I think this car needs a name, Dad!”

Me: “Really, [Daughter]? And what name would you give it?”

Daughter: “I think ‘Puta’ is a nice name.”

(My friend and I burst out laughing to the confusion of my daughter.)

Friend: “From the mouths of babes!”

Should Have Just Gone With ‘Maybe’

| Norwich, England, UK | Friendly | April 8, 2014

(I am staying with friends, who are a couple, over New Year. All of us are big geeks. My female friend has had to work New Years Eve and will be working New Years Day. She’s just come in from work and isn’t quite feeling it for the New Years party we’re meant to be going to.)

Friend: “Do you think [Boyfriend] will mind if I don’t come out tonight? I’m exhausted.”

Me: “Well, it is New Year. It’s generally nice to have someone to kiss at midnight. But he’s really laid back so he probably wouldn’t mind much. But it might make him sad to miss out on it. He’d probably understand though.”

(There’s a pause whilst I consider the conflicting advice I’ve given her.)

Me: *apologetically* “Do not go to the elves for advice, for they will say both no and yes.”

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