Monday, December 16, 2013

No Comprende

The control panel of our washer-dryer, set for I have no idea.
There's nothing like a short stint in a foreign country where you don't speak the language to make you feel like an idiot. And what's more, whatever you do know in your own language won't help you one bit if you're trying to wash clothes in another. For example, I am often chided--I won't say by who--for not being able to pinpoint Kansas on a map of the United States. Ditto North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Nebraska and many more, in fact all of them but the biggest ones. But here in Spain, if I knew where all those places are I still couldn't use the washing machine in our apartment without a master's in engineering.

It's one of those wash and dry in the same machine types, which seems wrong from the start if you ask me. The nice cleaning lady who speaks no English came in for a tutorial this morning. She showed me what to do and said, "Si, si" a lot. I pretended to understand and said, "Okay, okay" a few times. I liked her. She had no idea how ignorant I am of American geography.

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