"" Writer's Wanderings: The Power Of A Word In A Foreign Language

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Power Of A Word In A Foreign Language

If you have ever ventured out on your own in a foreign country you have probably found at least one or two instances where no one around you spoke English. Most areas where there are tourist attractions have locals who speak enough English to understand and be understood. Off the beaten track however is a different story.

One of my favorite memories of our 18 days through Europe in an Audi is getting lost on our way to Stresa, Italy. We were traveling with Bob's brother and his wife. The boys pulled up to some men along the way and got out the maps and tried to explain that we wanted to go to Stresa and were lost. The two men were very animated as they rattled off in Italian what we assumed were directions. All seemed good until one man pointed in one direction and the other pointed in another direction. Huh??

Bob and his brother got back in the car and we waved goodbye. We set off down the road and I asked if we knew where to go now. No, came the answer and our Italian isn't any better either. Thankfully not long after that trip rental cars came with GPS.

It's always good to know a few words in the language of the country you visit. Thank you, how much, please, and hello are good. Rest room doesn't always work and neither does bath room. You may end up in a lounge or a Turkish bath. Toilet seems to work well in most places.

Knowing the words for gasoline might be helpful if you are driving. I found a fun article at Smarter Travel. It's a good smile read.

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