Today I learned that Dolgormaa’s dad studied journalism in Berlin many years ago, and is an author specializing in the history of Genghis Khan. Somehow I end up speaking German in Mongolia. So unexpected!
Speaking German in Mongolia
Dolgormaa’s dad and I communicate in German. I could really use better German skills right now! My German is uber limited, as my language background is from an after-school course I had in elementary school (2nd and 3rd grades). Oy! Thinking of how long ago just makes me feel really old. Does that mean I have another high school reunion coming up? Oh boy… back on topic.
As you might imagine, my German skills are at this level: point at a restaurant and say “eat”. And, I somehow recall most of the colors, so I can go as far as saying “Blau spise” and he should understand that I am referring to the restaurant in the blue building. Very useful, I know. <Sigh>
Fortunately, he’s so nice, he makes the best of it and I end up with German food for lunch!
Thank God that Google Translator for English-German works, because the English-Mongolian translator is crap. We tried it twice, and each time it caused my hosts to look up from reading the Mongolian version with a look of such consternation that I became completely convinced that Google was telling them that I was an insane cat killer. Once, they wrote something back to me, but it made no sense at all.
Fear of Pickpockets
Unfortunately, my German-speaking friends who are active on Facebook chat, are in Europe or North America, where it’s the middle of the night whenever I am desperate for help. Please, please, please let me not lose my Mongolian phrasebook or get it pick pocketed!!!!!!!!!!! This is one of those times when I really hope that the god of bad pickpocketing people is taking requests from good people who would very much appreciate keeping their stuff.
Wish me luck, since I hear that pickpocketing is exceedingly common here! How do you say “get away, thief!” in German or Mongolian?
Planning a Mongolia trip of your own? Check out my Comprehensive Mongolia write-up or the photos.
To read the previous Chapter in this story: Ugh! An embarrassing toilet situation.
To read the next Chapter in this story: Fortunes and Family
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