Berlin Travel Blog› entry 26 of 113 › view all entries
June 14th, 2008 – by: afredrix
My first experience as a surfer is with Márton. He was born in Hungary but has lived in Germany since he was seven. His english is great, which is a very good thing since, as it turns out, my German is shit. Apparently not using a language for 6+ years will make you forget a thing or 20. The first thing Márton did when I arrived was hand over a spare key and leave me alone in his apartment for an hour while he ran an errand. This, my friends, is called trust. And since I am not (thankfully, for all involved) a psychotic, kleptomaniac criminal, I just sat down with my computer and relaxed for the hour. When he returned, we left together to meet up with some of his friends for dinner and drinks. This is exactly why I do couchsurfing. To experience the neighborhoods and people you don't come across as a tourist.
I gave Márton and his friends "permission" to speak completely in german when talking to each other. I find my ability to understand is still somewhat decent. Trying to answer, however, is pretty painful for all involved. I realize exactly how many words are no longer, or never were, lingering in my brain. It makes me respect non-native english speakers that much more, considering the deep discussions we've had in my language. My german conversations don't get much deeper than "Where is the toilet?" or "My neighbor likes to go on walks." You can imagine how far that takes me.
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