Thursday, January 21, 2010

Encounter with Two German Kindergartners

While we’ve been living here, we have had a chance to “run into” lots of scenarios that I never anticipated. Everyday we talk to strangers, so that's obvious. But, when living in another country and just learning the many facets of their language, it’s easy to pull back into your turtle shell (that taken from Because of Winn Dixie-- Opal describing her cowardly father). We’ve both run into scenarios where people continue speaking to us for minutes, literally, without us saying a word back. They generally have no idea we don't speak German fluently. Because, after all, we do look German. Luckily, we have enough of a grasp on the language to understand the overall picture and pick out details we’re more familiar with. Today’s scenario was special to me. I was walking to the parking area on my way to pick up Ray from work, and noticed a little girl standing in front of the car. She was about 5-years old with long blonde hair. There was no parent in sight. This is not abnormal for our street—the street doubles as a playground for children. Here is how the conversation went:

Brandy: Entschuldigung, bitte.

Girl #1: [moves out of the way] Es gibt ein Maus unter das Auto.

Brandy: [sees a cat next to the driver’s side door] Ein Maus?

Girl #1: Ja. Ein Maus.

Brandy: Unter meinem Auto?

Girl #2: [appears—brown hair, same age. Says something really fast in unrecognizable German]

Girl #1: Ja. Unter dein Auto!

Brandy: [walks to the side and ducks under the car to check—no mouse to be seen, gets in car and puts the car into reverse]

Girl #1 & Girl #2: [pointing, smiling as they mouse runs to the other side of the parking area]

*Please excuse my grammar errors. I still suck struggle at that.
**It is absolutely times like these when I love being around children. They were thoroughly excited to share their discovery with someone. Not only was I pleased that they used such simple language with me, the beginner, but I just loved their spirit of inquisition and wonder. It makes me yearn to teach soon even more. As a matter of fact, it's the entire reason I went into teaching. Maybe I can handle kindergarten after all. I only said maybe.


Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]


Elliot + Brandy Wilson said... [Reply to comment]

The little girls were looking for a mouse that was apparently under our car! Now, read it again... you'll get it. :)