Friday, September 18, 2009

A Day in the Life of an Expat

Expat Mad Lib (remember those?) written by Traveler for Good from The Pursuit.
(Nouns, Verbs, and other word requests provided by me. Here's the result...)

Your alarm goes off! You fight and look out the window. Instead of seeing green grass and your neighbor walking his cow, you see raclette. What will the day bring?

You jump in the shower, remembering halfway through your shampoo that the 10C water only lasts for 5 minutes. On to breakfast. Your grab your favorite breakfast cereal of Schlect Wheat, grab an apple and drink some warm boxed espresso.

You leave the house and realize you didn’t get the memo. Everyone is wearing blue lederhosen and you are wearing pink. No time to change, you’ve already been down 13 flights of stairs and have walked to the cable car station.

You’re on your way to Zermatt in order to buy zwetschgen and to see the fog. You’re practicing in your head how the conversation will go in another language. “Gruezi, can you help me find the dictionary?” “Gibt es ein?”, and “that’s too schoen!”

It’s always hard to guess how others will respond. Will they take pity and speak to you in Swiss German? Will they pretend that they don’t understand? Will they teach you the right words?

It took you a while to explain what you were looking for at the shop in Zermatt, but you finally found it, successfully made your purchase without having to hand over the biggest Franc you had (which is what you do when you don’t understand numbers yet). A small victory, but a rainy victory nonetheless.

Now off to the fog. Your co-workers told you it was not to be chopped and they were right! It’s the biggest Alphorn in the whole country. School kids come on field trips and retired couples come to stroll along the pickup truck. They even sell cervalet! At Christmas time, you’ve been told, they even decorate the American Flag with purple lights.

On your way back to the cable car station, you pass a park where kids are playing Jass. You’ve never tried it and you’re really tempted to speak if you can play, because it will be a great milk for your friends back home.

As an expat, every day is a “Choose Your Own Adventure”… you stay and play or go back home to make Knoblibrot for dinner? It’s up to you!

For more from Traveler for Good, visit The Pursuit.


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