Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stranieri stupidi

An incomplete compilation of dumb things we have done (in addition to ordering a sardine pizza on our first day, which doesn’t count, because we were very tired):

1. Despite careful examination of the washer in the laundry room of Centro Cristiano, we couldn’t figure out how to open the door. We tried all the usual techniques - pulling at the corners, pushing in on it to make it spring back, putting in some money... but nothing. Every moment we stood there haplessly poking at it, we felt lamer. Eventually, when we couldn't bear it any longer, we trudged away, defeated, with our dirty laundry (completely baffling the woman who had come down at that moment to do her laundry).

2. The orange button appeared to me in a vision overnight, so I returned the next morning, certain of how to proceed. My laundering success was short-lived, however: somehow I managed to interrupt the cycle 10 minutes early. Too embarrassed to admit this to the two women standing nearby (or to myself), I piled the clothes into a big soggy heap and bear-hugged them all the way up three flights of stairs. (I changed my clothes before I went out to discreetly wipe up the trail of drips.)

3. When the checker told us we forgot to get the sticker for the produce we wanted to purchase, we just looked dumbly back at her, literally until she went and got the sticker for us. (We then went home and learned how to say “you’re very nice” for future such occasions of brain malfunction.)

4. On our first visit to IKEA, we spent more than a few minutes venting about what a dumb, expensive country Switzerland was because the shopping cart cost 2 CHF to use. On the second visit we started counting up how much money we'd be spending on SHOPPING CARTS in two years.  Then we saw someone return her cart and get her 2 CHF back.

5. Walking back from the grocery store one day, someone in a car stopped to ask us for directions. We were both simultaneously excited that someone was addressing us directly, and dissapointed, knowing we had no way to help. Swiss Mr. paused for a moment, then responded in Italian (I quote): “Excuse me, I don’t speak Italian, thank you.”


Linda/Mom said...

You make me laugh reading about the trials of adapting to life in Switzerland. Maybe you should check around and see if you can find a booklet of tips--you know like "Things every new resident needs to know but is afraid to ask".

Li said...

saving all the stories---you can direct a movie about these hilarious/embarrassing moments when you are back. :)

joyce said...

these are AWESOME. i want more ... !?