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Brad's Life: Books and Thoughts

When living in Germany just isn't any fun
Feb 26, 2008
I really like living in Germany. It is a cool country and with a lot really fun things to see and great bike paths which are everywhere. Although my German is not good, most of the time I can get by. Today was not a fun day to live in a foreign country. On Saturday night my internet went down. I called on Sunday and was able to determine in German that the problem was in my house rather than with the line outside. I set up their first available appointment which was for this morning between 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Two technicians arrived at 8:15 a.m. They spent about an hour looking at the connections and concluded I needed a new router. So at 10:00 a.m. I was off to the phone store to purchase another router. Of course they are bigger, better and more expensive than the one I was using. O.K., I want the internet so I pay up and bring my router home. It is not enough to plug it in, you have to configure it. Of course the instructions are in German, not surprising I live in Germany. So I read them the best I can, fill in the blanks. It is a no go. I call the help number, the German is technical and over my head. The help desk hangs up on me. At noon I take a break. After lunch I call the help line again and am able to get an English speaking person who walks me through the configuration. My desk top is now back on-line. However, I can not get the lap top (Debbie’s computer) to connect. At 4:00 p.m. the Landlord comes over (I have a water pipe that is leaking which he has come to fix. Renting does have its advantages). He helps with my computer issues, no charge. By 5:00 p.m. we have the lap top working. The landlord leaves I am happy. However, 15 minutes later my lap top looses the connection and can not find it again. The computer reports I have no wireless which is just not true, the computer just can not find it. Someday, not today, this problem will get fixed, this doesn’t feel true, but I believe that it is true. However, with only half my computers working here is the lesson of the day: Living in a foreign country when you don’t speak the language is often very hard and very frustrating. I often have compassion for people who are in the U.S. who do not speak English. When some people say, “If you don’t speak our language you shouldn’t be here” I wonder if they know how many Americans live in other countries and don’t speak the language? I also wonder if many of those who say that so admittedly speak more than one language or have ever tried to learn another language? I have tried and continue to learn German, but German, like all languages is very difficult! I have more pics and news at ellgens.com if your internet is working.
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