04 April 2009
One of the best parts of living in a foreign country are the funny situations you can get into in another language. I have been working as a bartender at Circa in Tromsø, and one of my favorite parts of the job is that I am totally immersed in Norwegian for 7 hours. As I've learned, if you can communicate with drunk Norwegians you can communicate with anybody. After every night of work we clean up and have a beer together afterwards to wind down a bit. Tonight I was going through the cleaning list with everyone who was just sitting down to have their beer. I came to the item that said we had to clean the "spillbrett" which means (as I learned later) a type of tray that holds our dirty glasses. When I got to the word however, I some how interpreted it, and said it out-loud, as the Norwegian word I know that was most similar: brettspill, which means boardgame. So as I was reading out-loud I said, we have to clean the board games? Who is willing to do that? Everyone of course burst out laughing and told me that I had to wash each letter in the scrabble game before moving on to every horse in the risk game. It was a good laugh and a nice ending to a fun evening. So, as I drank my beer at 5am and watched the sun rise I learned a new word I don't think I'll ever forget.