Monday, September 12, 2011

5/6 of the Way To Being a World Traveler

I can’t remember exactly where I saw this definition, but I have always defined being a world traveler by how many different languages you can order a drink/food.  Based on this definition, if you can order drinks/food in six or more different languages, then you are a 'real' world traveller.  I realize this is far from the truth, but I can’t help but define our travel experiences by adding as many new languages as possible to that number.  That is part of what made our recent trip so exciting.  I was able to get two steps closer to becoming a world traveler (as defined by me).

Learning how to order something  is really easy, though sometimes pronouncing it correctly is the difficult part.  You really just need to learn six words: hello, one, two, three, please, and thank you. Learning these six simple words enables you to order up to 3 things from anywhere at any time.  If our family grows, then I would have to learn the number four as well. 

Netherlands (Dutch)-  ‘Hallo, een bier alstublieft’ (Hello, one beer please.) 

After you receive the beer, you say, ‘Dank je weil.’   It’s as easy as that.  Unfortunately, I got the ‘please’ pronunciation wrong while practicing at the Rotterdam ‘HM’ store and needed to have the cashier write out the correct pronunciation on a blank piece of paper, which kind of looked like I was getting her phone number from Dana’s standpoint across the store.   

When I finally got the pronunciation right at a 'Quick' fast food restaurant (Quick is a McDonald's like burger chain as well as one of the few places that accepts 2 year olds) I did a huge fist pump, shouted 'yeah, baby!' and startled the cashier as I lunged over the counter to give her a high five.  

Belguim/France (French) – Bonjour (Hello)  S'il vous plaît (please), merci (thank you), un, deux, trois (one, two, three)

I got this one correct on the first try and even had the waitress believing that I was a fluent speaker.  That ended when the final tab came and I gave her the ‘I don’t understand you’ blank stare that we have now perfected over the past 12 months. 

No high fives were exchanged in Belgium or France (they are not really the high fiving type of people, in general), but I was able to easily tick French off the world traveler list. 

This means that I officially have 5 languages (English, Spanish, German, French, and Dutch) down and 1 more to go before officially becoming (in my own mind) a world traveller.  

Basketball Season has begun.  Our first regular season game is Oct. 1

Now this is a care package.  It had something for everyone, including Oscar. Thanks Amy. 
I end this post with two questions: 1. Are there any other world traveler benchmarks to be striving for? 2.  Should your native language count as one of the 6 languages?  I already know Dana's answer for #2.   

1 comment:

Dana said...

For Bryan's #2 question, I don't think your native language should count. He's only 4/6 on his way to being a "world traveler."