I went out with my camera again this afternoon and took some pictures near my house. This is one of the few that weren’t blurry.
I come back home to find my landlord, along with half the neighbors, chopping up pig parts in the basement. They all look at me. I freeze for a second as the language barrier kicks in, then I remember to say “Dan“, which they answer equally shyly. I give my landlord the rent and he takes it in his big hard palm, stained with pig-part grease, and says “Thank you,” in English.
One of his kids must have been teaching him that, because he can’t really speak English at all (we communicate in very broken German). I back out, saying “Lahko noc” (good night) to the room and they all automatically say it back to me.
I always feel weird walking into a room where nobody speaks English. It happens to me all the time, because I live in a non-English speaking country. You’d think that by now I’d get used to it, but I never do. They are curious about me, because I never talk to them; not because I’m unfriendly but because the language barrier is pretty much insurmountable. The less we talk, the weirder I feel around them, which makes me avoid them more, which makes them even more curious about me.
What kind of crazy American would come and live here in the middle of nowhere in a country most Americans have never even heard of? There’s no way to explain.