Hedgehog

Hello all! Life in Chisinau continues on! We are still sans apartment (meaning we're still somewhat in limbo) but we've been using our time well to explore the neighborhood and feel more settled, at least culturally. We've finally been taking time to study Romanian daily, and while I still don't know how to tell the cashier I want to pay with a credit card, I can now tell a female acquaintance that I would like to drink some wine. So obviously we need to keep at it ;)

School starts for me Monday, though I've just found out my loans are going to take awhile to come in. When filling out my FAFSA this summer, I mistakenly clicked the button that said I was a non-U.S. citizen (WHY???). I've already jumped through lots of hoops trying to get that resolved and thought I had it all taken care of before we moved to Eastern Europe (I literally called someone 3 days before we moved and got a confirmation from them that I was good to go), only to find out this morning that they need additional verification (NOOOOO!!!). 

Long story short: tomorrow I have to take my marriage license to the U.S. Embassy to spend $50 to get a copy of it notarized, after which I need to find somewhere to mail it to the U.S. as fast as possible.

In case you can't tell, I am not amused. 

But I AM amused by this funny incident that happened the other day when we were shopping!

We were out in this giant market full of vendor stalls selling everything from cheese to Crocs to chemises, hoping we could find a few random items. We stopped at a stall selling deodorant and shampoo to see if they had any kids shampoo (somehow I left the kids' shampoo behind in MI, and the kids can't use ours because they get excema). Jesse skillfully used his Russian to find what we needed, and then he thought he'd check to see if they had another random item we needed: a bottle brush. 

Now, I don't know how many of you speak second languages, but when you don't know a word for something in a second language, you have to run circles around the word you don't know, trying to describe it any possible way you can to communicate the thing you don't know how to say. 

So here's Jesse, trying to explain that he needs this weird brush for cleaning bottles (which for all we know is a weird American thing), using every word he knows to try and describe it. "You know, a brush that's bristly all over and you use it for cleaning baby bottles?" The shopkeepers, to their credit, were trying very hard in return to figure out what he was asking for. "Do you mean a shoe brush?" they asked. "What about a toothbrush?"

Jesse, sensing imminent defeat, began to say "Never mind, don't worry about it, don't worry about it." But then one of the shopkeepers finally got it.

"Oh!" she said. "A hedgehog!"  

And off went the other shopkeeper to find one.


The "hedgehog" we bought (and in case you're wondering, the little brush, despite having a hook, does not attach to the large brush in any convenient way).

And that is the story of how we bought a hedgehog, er, bottle brush. 

Comments

Meg N. said…
Gotta love circumlocution! One of my favorite examples of it was when a German exchange student was looking for the term "garden gnome" and said matter-of-factly that it was "a little man in a garden with a hat."
Maren said…
Ugh sorry about the school drama. That is so frustrating, I hope they get it settled quickly. Circumlocution takes me right back to college. I would run into the problem though where I didn't know some of the words I needed to talk around it either haha.

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