Craig is now living in Leipzig and has been very busy settling into our new German city. He set up a new bank account, registered as a resident with the city, got the keys to our very empty apartment (he is living temporarily in a hotel until our things arrive), finally got his cell phone, and even managed to lease a car!
He has had a relatively pain-free transition thanks to the help of his German-speaking colleagues from work and our relocation expert, Birgit. He has, however, been running into a bit of trouble when he doesn’t have a translator around.
Just days after Craig got his phone, he received his first phone call. He hadn’t given his phone number to many people yet, so he wasn’t sure who it could be. He answered the phone as any German would, saying, “Markovitz. Hallo?” After recognizing the words, “Guten Tag, Herr Markovitz,” Craig was immediately bombarded with a long stretch of German words that he did not understand. The man on the other end was relentless and did not pause for a very long time. Being polite, Craig did not want to interrupt the man, but also didn’t want the conversation to continue when he clearly did not understand what was being said. Finally, when the man paused briefly to take a breath, Craig interjected with, “Bitte, ich spreche kein Deutsch.” (Sorry, I don’t speak German.) The man either didn’t understand Craig (which has been a struggle for Craig), or just plain ignored him and continued rambling on. After another minute of incomprehensible German, the man finally finished whatever he was saying, and Craig was so flustered he just sort of made some unintelligible noises into the phone. The man finally realized that Craig simply was not going to understand what was being said, so he just said with exasperation, “Scheiße” (shit). Understanding the sentiment, Craig chuckled into the phone and replied in the only way he thought was fit: “Ja, Scheiße.”
Hopefully it wasn’t anything too important!