Confused in English.

on July 27, 2011 in Scotland with 6 comments by

Hi friends. For starters, how great was Lois’s post on Friday? I know. I’m still impressed.

Secondly, thanks for all your prayers last week while we were at camp. It was an amazing week. I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but the American team did. So once they recover from traveling I’m sure the next item on their to-do list will be uploading pictures to facebook that I can immediately steal for the blog.

So. That’s the plan.

[There are a few pictures over on the Scotland Team blog… so that could be your appetizer. Don’t want you starving or nothin’.]

Now onto today’s topic:

How I Can Still Be An Idiotic American

Even When The Country I Live In Speaks English

. . . . .

Anecdote #1. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

I went to the grocery store last week and purchased a chicken dinner from what I thought was the cold foods sections [vs. the frozen food section]. I popped it in the fridge and planned to eat it. I didn’t have time to eat it before camp, so when I came home, I assumed my roomie had thrown it away. [It had been 10 days… it needed to be done.]

I said, “Hey, did you throw that chicken away?”

She said, “Yeah, I mean, it was old and it was supposed to be frozen.”

With a quizzical brow [you’re welcome], I said, “Wait. It was? I thought it was just refridgerated?”

She said, “Uh, Annie. It said FROZEN DINNER across the top of the box.”

Right. About that.

. . . . .

Anecdote #2. Bus stop.

I took the bus to Esther’s house a few days ago. Being that it was my first solo mission, I pulled out the bus map and traced my route repeatedly until it was memorized.

I walked out the door with my head held high, knowing this was going to be an absolutely massive success.

I got on the bus and IMMEDIATELY realized that I had made a fatal error. I had learned my “route” backwards- I had learned it as if the buses travel on the American side of the road instead of the British side of the road. So I knew every bus stop on the right side of the street, but I was traveling up the left side.

Impressive, eh?

Luckily, I had a map in my purse [obviously, because I get lost every day], so I just pulled it out and followed stop by stop, playing Russian roulette with the appropriate time to get off. [This led to a lot of stand up- sit down-now?-squat-stand-here?-sit movements that I’m sure were entertaining for everyone on board.]

I survived and arrived. And unfortunately, a friend drove me home. So I didn’t even get the chance to use my vast right-side-of-the-road knowledge.

. . . . .

Anecdote #3. But they smelled good.

After camp, it was time for laundry. You may have seen on instagram that I posted a picture of my clothes line-drying in the kitchen.

Well. Before the line-dry comes the wash. My roomie stood beside me and showed me how to use the machine. I pulled out the liquid soap that I had purchased and asked which slot is for soap.

“Uh, Annie. That’s fabric softener.”

So I literally was about about to wash my clothes with zero soap and a whole heapin’ mess of fabric softener.

In my defense, I have read every piece of text on that bottle and NO WHERE does it say fabric softener. Of course, no where does it say detergent either, but that’s neither here nor there.

Luckily, there was detergent in the house, so I borrowed a few scoops. So yes, my clothes are actually clean and, for the first time in my life, line-dried AND fabric softened.

. . . . .

So. There is your proof that I can be a huge idiot no matter the address. I know that this is first world stuff, my life is NOT hard, but it’s just funny to think how different cultures can be, even when things would seem so similar on the outside looking in.

Lucky for me, the Starbucks on the street makes a no water soy chai latte that is beautiful in any language. I’m heading there now. 🙂

6 comments

  1. posted on Jul 27, 2011 at 6:15 AM  |  reply

    Glad camp went well. Number 2 is a beauty. I can see you standing, squatting, sitting, all the while studying that map in your hands! I would have done the same thing. We aren’t left-side-of-the-road brained.

  2. posted on Jul 27, 2011 at 6:57 AM  |  reply

    Thanks for making me smile this morning. I know I would’ve done the SAME thing with the bus route 🙂

    Blessings to you on this grand adventure!

  3. posted on Jul 27, 2011 at 8:42 AM  |  reply

    I’m sure you’ve heard me say that Andrew and I are too stupid to travel internationally. On our trip to Germany, I was told a laundromat was just down the street, but I wandered and wandered, lugging my bag of laundry, and could never find it. I finally gave up, bought some German Febreze, and sprayed everything until they didn’t smell like cigarettes and borscht. Laundry? Done.

    And I think I told you about the time I couldn’t figure out how to pay for the metro so I just rode it illegally for several days…

  4. posted on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:06 PM  |  reply

    LOL! I loved this, it made me laugh and smile along the whole time through.
    thanks so much!
    When I make it back to that side of the pond I’m so going to need to stop by and grab starbucks with you…my treat!

  5. Sarah
    posted on Jul 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM  |  reply

    I’ve totally done the fabric softener washing the clothes thing. A few times. :-/ LOL!!!

  6. posted on Jul 28, 2011 at 9:35 AM  |  reply

    The opposite side of the road for the bus part would have totally gotten me too!

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