Friday, June 21, 2013

i've got to learn this language

Yesterday, in a I can do anything moment, I took a four-year old, two two-year-olds, and a dog to the river that's just behind our house. I don't have any pictures because one cannot take a photo while holding a leash and the hands of two two-year-olds as they make their way along a rocky bank. We had a great time there splashing in the water, throwing rocks, and keeping everyone alive. When it came time to get all of us up the bank back to the trail, I picked up Alex and had him on my left hip, I was holding the dog's leash in my left hand, and grabbed Gabe's hand with my right hand.

A very nice woman who I have seen around Frydlant said something to me in Czech. Okay, here's where my awesome skills left the building. I can often understand the gist of what someone is saying, if I can really focus, and if I have a tiny bit of context. In situations where I am not able to focus or I don't have context, my brain is often about three minutes behind. Three minutes doesn't seem like a long time, but it's long enough for someone to ask me a question and for me to answer, and then realize later why the poor person was looking at me funny.

Now that my brain has been able to process, here's what I think happened.

I'm standing near the river with Alex on my hip, the dog leash in one hand, and Gabe's hand in the other, the women kindly says something like this in Czech, "Are you able to make it up the hill by yourself or do you need help?"

I answer (in CZ) smiling, "yes!"

She repeats her either-or question, "Are you able to make it up the hill by yourself or do you need help?"

Again smiling I answer (in CZ), "maybe, yes!"

She says to her husband, "Go help that crazy American woman up the hill!" (Okay, I don't think she said that).

The Czech man holds his hands out to Gabe so sweetly (as not to scare him), and I explain to Gabe that he's going to help him up the hill.

I say thank you in Czech at least three times, and I say good-bye. All of which are said with precise pronunciation.

Then, I'm walking away, with my three kids and the dog, and I realize she was asking me an either-or question. Dang it!

This summer, I'm increasing my language lessons to at least three times a week, so . . . watch out Czech, I'll be able to answer your questions . . . soon!

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