Just wanted to tell you guys what happened to me at the supermarket yesterday.

I went there to buy some health food…

I'm most embarrassed about my choice of my beer.

I’m most embarrassed about my choice of my beer. Decided to give Budweiser another chance. Never again.

While I was in there, an older woman was handing out free samples: small plates of hot pasta with slices of sausage.

A college-aged kid in a white T-shirt and sweatpants came striding up. Without missing a step, he grabbed a plate and began stuffing noodles into his mouth with his fingers and continued walking. He did it so smoothly, like a marathoner grabbing a cup from a water stop.

The woman handing out samples began complaining loudly about him in German. It was so nice to hear the familiar dulcet tones of German disgust. She called him a Stoffel (a boor or twerp).

What that lady saw. http://www.itchyfeetcomic.com/2013/11/second-mother-tongue.html#.VPHRQy6YF2A

Basically how the lady saw that dude.
By BananWiki, from Image Source

I probably should’ve let her have her private ranting moment, but I couldn’t help it. I asked her, “Was hat er getan?” (What did he do?)

She looked a little taken aback, but not really. She looked down the aisle and pointed at the kid and said in accented English, “He just came up here and took a plate. Didn’t stop, didn’t say thank you. Just kept going.”

“Some people are so rude,” I said. “Auf Wiedersehen!

Here’s what I got out of this experience. She was speaking German to herself. Then I spoke to her in German, enough for her to understand me and reply. Yet she still insisted on speaking to me in English.

It’s almost impossible to get a German to speak German with you. 😉

Reminds me of this comic from Malachi at Itchy Feet:



  • Phil

    Loved the comic! If you wanted her to speak German, I guess you would have had to take a plate and run off with it without a word of thanks. That seemed to work for the other guy.

    • http://www.languagesurfer.com/ Ron G.

      LOL! I’m gonna have to try that next time.

  • Chris Broholm

    We danes struggle a bit to comprehend the concept of a light beer…Anyway, nice story Ron! :) Always good to trip over a foreign language experience in the supermarket

    • http://www.languagesurfer.com/ Ron G.

      That’s the first light beer I’ve had in over a year (as evidenced by my physique). #NeverAgain

  • http://lightonspanish.com/ Jorge Sivit

    A funny story! You did your best!

    I didn’t know the expression “eavesdropping”. ¡Gracias!

    • http://www.languagesurfer.com/ Ron G.

      LOL. It’s a funny expression when you think about where it comes from, right? When I was studying Spanish, I *loved* going to the theme parks here in Orlando to listen to people’s conversations. Except half of them were in Brazilian Portuguese. hahaha

  • Jonathas

    Lol, very demotivating, man. Hope I get to speak German when I travel to Germany in May

    • http://www.languagesurfer.com/ Ron G.

      LOL. I’m used to it. Jokes aside, you’ll get plenty of chances. You can also tell people straight up that you’re there to learn and most people will accommodate you. My son was a preschooler when we were there, so neighborhood children were always good to practice with since they didn’t speak English yet. I know that’s not an option for everyone, though.