Wednesday, September 17, 2008

There is a point to this..

My day began when Lexi decided to gak up something, at 6am.

I started work at 7:55 AM, only to find out that I made a mistake in something for which I'm responsible, and I caused a big mess, and yeah, it can be fixed, but I don't like being the person responsible for the mess. So I felt like an idiot, and still do.

Last week we received my official notification that I can still live here for the next 2 years (okay, technically less than that because my passport expires in 2010, but whatever). To finish off the whole process, I have to go to the police station, in Viborg, bring them yet another passport photo, and get my new sticker. Why they need another photo is beyond me as they not only have my previous photo, but I also had to submit one with my application, so they should have that one too, but yep, gotta bring another one. Luckily, I still have one from the last time I had them taken. Okay, paperwork, passport, photo, ready. Sign out for Lunch and off to Viborg I go.

From Karup, there's only one way to get to Viborg and it's your typical Danish two lane road. Well wouldn't you know that today is the day they decided that the lines on the road needed painting. I would agree, they desperately do need some new paint, but is it really necessary to lower the speed limit to 50 Kph (30 mph), no passing, for a 3 Km stretch of road when the machine doing the painting fits in a 5 meter space? I was past the painting dude in the first 20 meters of this reduced speed zone and had to continue, slowly, behind 3 other cars, wondering when it would ever end.

Eventually it did end, and then I got stuck behind granny, who refused to bring her little zoom zoom mazda up to the actual posted speed limit. Get out of my freaking way lady! Sigh - these things have a tendency to irritate me.

Finally made it to the Politi in Viborg. Got inside, and then I see a nice sign on the desk of the immigration service. They're open between 10-12 on Tuesday, and between 2-4 on Thursday. How nice. Nevermind that 'min mand' assured me that I could go at anytime. No sticker today - must return tomorrow.

Drive home again - again through the reduced speed zone. This time the car ahead of me decided to ignore the zone, so yeah, I went along with the flow. Sue me. We finally caught up to painting dude in the last 20 meters of the zone - basically in the same place he was when I passed him on the way out to Viborg. Painting is a slow process apparently.

The moral (point) of this story? Call first.


Just an update from the land of sprogskole...

I have officially passed the module 3 test and am now in module 4.

Doesn't really feel like I should be that far - but according to the tests, I'm ready!

If not A, then B...

Until I moved to Denmark, I had never learned a foreign language. I did take a year of French in high school, but the extent of my current knowledge involving French amounts to the ability to count to 10 and to say I love you, and I can't think of any situation in which those limited abilities would be of any use.

So, I know English, and now I know a bit of Danish. On a daily basis, I deal with customers from all over the world. For the most part, these dealings are all via Email. The customer sends in a mail written in their own language, I throw the text into the wonderful world of google translations, and between my own knowledge of what the customer probably needs, and the translated version of their text, I can figure out what to send as an answer to their inquiry. This works fairly well and has never really been a big issue.

But then, we also offer our customers other means by which to contact us. One of which is via Skype for those outside the US who don't want to pay for a call. Just as my day was ending yesterday, the Skype rang and since I didn't want to be rude and make them call again to get someone else, I went ahead and answered it. The woman was speaking Spanish. I don't know Spanish. I can tell her, in Spanish, that I don't speak Spanish, but that's about it. She didn't speak English and kept trying to speak to me in Spanish. This is when my brain short circuited a bit...

Something up in my head decided that if this woman didn't understand English, then we must switch over to the only other language stored up there. So suddenly I find myself saying to the woman.. "Nej" and "Jeg kan ikke forstå". Hmm... me thinks that perhaps this may have confused her even more.

When I finally got off the call, I just had to laugh at myself, and at the way my brain worked in this situation. I knew somewhere in my head that she didn't know Danish either, but another part was taking over and spouting out little Danish phrases in the hopes that something would stick.

Maybe it's time to start learning language #3. Rumor has it the 3rd one is easier than #2!
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