So this post could probably go on for pages, but I will condense it with just a few highlights.
Let’s start with how for months I was spelling the name wrong of the girl I was an Au Pair for. Her name is Elisabeth. I was spelling it the American way: Elizabeth. This is only important because the mother kept all of her drawings and had me put her name and date on the back of each. It was at least 5 a day. So how she will have tons of pictures with the wrong name on them.
Another time after my host mother and children had just left in the morning I ventured upstairs (I tried to emerge from my cave of a room after the family has left, too stressful otherwise) only to find my host dad still in the kitchen…in his boxers. I gave a quick high pitched ‘oh! hello!’, kept my eyes down and fumbled around in the fridge trying to avoid looking everywhere.
Months later, the dad was going to take the kids upstairs for a bath after dinner. What I missed was that he was taking one with them. I walked in the bathroom to put some clothes in the hamper and low and behold there he was. I’m not even sure I said anything. I think I just walked right out.
And how about that time I couldn’t cook pasta. Plain noodles turned to complete mush. Everyone was trying to be nice like ‘oh I think they are just a bit soft’ and ‘maybe we can use these for the baby’. But let’s be real, I’m 26 and I messed up pasta.
Lastly, the story of one of the main reasons I gave up trying to learn German: A month or 2 after I had arrived in Germany I went to one of the Christmas markets with a friend. I went to the window to order some food in German and the man literally laughed out loud and then continued to speak to me in English. That’s not exactly the type of encouragement I needed at that time. Not cool buddy. Not cool.
I took a trip to see the Christmas markets through an international group on FB. We broke into groups of 5 to get discount tickets (Germany is awesome!) and throughout the day my group joined with another for lunch. I had just met all these people a few hours ago. We went to an Italian place and I split a small pizza with another girl.
After eating, all were like: “wow I am so full” and “that was so good” and “I feel so much better now”
And then I’m like: “haha yeah but I’ll be hungry again in like, 10 minutes”
Everyone: *silence* then slowly people were super serious like, no really? …seriously? …you’ll be hungry again that soon?
Me: trying to laugh it off, “well ok maybe not 10 minutes, but probably soon. I love food and am always hungry!”
Everyone: continues to make jokes about me and my love of food for the rest of the day.
I wasn’t really joking, I was hungry again not long after we ate…
A few people have mentioned that some of my stories don’t make me that awkward. Well, I had these on a separate page, but it seems as though they’ve been over looked. So for the next few weeks I will share just a small portion of the individual moments during my time abroad that were particularly awkward.
While walking to find my hostel I walked past a bus stop just as the bus pulled up. Kept walking. Bus pulls away going my direction. As it comes up next to me the driver honks and points in my general direction. Thinking for some reason he was trying to see if I wanted a ride, I smiled and waved some indistinct gesture of refusal/confusion. As I’m flapping away, he starts pointing behind me and I realize that my shoes had fallen out of the side pocket of my bag.
Everyone on my side of the street is of course, watching me go pick them up. Sure it was really nice of him buuut having the driver of a big red double-decker bus point out my complete unawareness to my own things on a very busy street was not the way that should have gone down.
I had to smile that one off real hard.
The next day I paid to take a Harry Potter walking tour. No, that’s not the awkward part, that’s the awesome part. It gets awkward when I’m the only one there BY MYSELF. Everyone else has a group of friends or kids or loved one.
Just imagine that for a second….
Since I was switching from a hostel to couch surfing that night I had all of my stuff with me, too. AND I was basically Hermione Granger quickly answering all of the questions the guide asked (except for one because I couldn’t hear him) because I’m never competitive unless it comes to HP trivia. Everyone else was too shy. WHY BE SHY WHEN YOU CAN BE AWKWARD???!