When you live abroad and have to deal with every little problem in a foreign tongue, often there are communications breakdowns that can make simple procedures seem like gigantic tasks.
When I’m struggling to understand what is being communicated it sometimes feels like I’m facing a Teutonic Goliath.
But then once in a while grace steps in.
Some people would call it luck, but to me it’s like the universe lifting the linguistic burdens of syntax and grammar.
This week our washing machine was leaking water and making a loud thumping noise. I took out the washing machine manual to translate the machine parts: barrings=kugellarger, rubber sealing=gummydichhtung, spinner=schleudern.
I got a hold of the repairman via telephone and slowly pronounced every word to him explaining the problem:
After I finished talking, he replied with a bit of humor in his voice, “So, I think your washing machine is broken.”
I laughed so loud into the phone that I must’ve broken his eardrum! In good English he described what he thought the problem was and made an appointment to come to my house and fix it. I hung up the phone and breathed a big sigh of relief. It made my day knowing that I didn’t have to fumble my words like a toddler learning to speak. My spirits soared as a high-speed elevator.
These are the little saving graces that help us get through the day.
I’m sure the washing machine repairman was unaware that his speaking English made my life just a wee bit easier and set a positive tone for the rest of the day. I was so grateful.
Searching the Internet for a simple quote to describe moments like this, I found a gem by Carly Fiorina:
“Life is measured in love and positive contributions and moments of grace.”
My hope for you is that today you will experience a moment of grace.
Over To You
Have you ever had one of the “saving grace” conversations that bolstered your attitude? I’d love to hear your experience. As usual, leave a comment below.