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Showing posts from January, 2019

Getting comfortable with being humble

I’m having a (basic) conversation in German when my interlocutor throws out a few words I’m not familiar with. “ Wie, bitte?”  They help me out, saying it in a different way and still I don’t understand. I check the facial expression: friendly. I consider the context: not a  life-or-death situation . Feedback: not essential. I make my decision and react with a smile and a  barely audible utterance.  My response isn’t important and  it’s just as well , since I have no idea what has been said to me. I  resolve to let it go  this time. Lately, I seem to be letting it go a lot! In fact, just the other day, as I was waiting for the pedestrian lights to turn green, an elderly man stopping beside me made a comment. “ Sorry? ” I asked him to repeat it, which he duly did. Still not comprehending, I smiled and returned to looking at the traffic light. After a while of life in a new language, you get used to not understanding. When your language journey begins, you, a