Friday, May 11, 2012

To Answer a Question...

Hello everyone!!

We just got back from a very special weekend in and around France and Belgium!!!  I'm looking forward to getting to posts from our weekend. :)

While we were gone, we got some lovely comments - thank you!!  One comment from my friend, Mikaela, brought up some interesting questions - I decided to answer them in a post because I think it might be of interest to others as well!!

If you remember in my post of "Backroad Travels" while we were staying down in Garmisch, we stopped and asked for a picture with the nice older gentleman in traditional garb.  Here is Mikaela's comment below:

Mikaela said...

I'm never brave enough to strike out on the back roads, but from the looks of it, I shall have to start trying. Did you have a good map or GPS?

That waterfall is astounding--so angular and precise.

Do most of the people speak English? I wondered when you said you asked to take a picture with that dear man in traditional garb. 

First of all, yes, we do have a GPS - you simply can't get anywhere over here without one!!! :)  Even with it sometimes things get interesting with bunny trails, etc.  That aside though, we are very thankful to have one and it does work great most of the time. :)

As far as the back roads go, I think mommy wants to do another post on this later, but we've very much enjoyed getting off the autobahn on many occasions and going through many of the back roads, driving through little villages, seeing more closely what everyday life looks like in different countries, how the look of the houses change based on which country we're in and a lot more - it's been neat to experience life over here more closely while not following the usual tourist path!!

Now as far as the English goes, I'm glad Mikaela brought that up as I think it might be of interest to others as well.  Since it's something that has become "normal" to us (we experience it almost on a daily basis) I guess I just hadn't thought about posting on it before!  So to answer the question...

We were actually surprised by the number of people who don't speak or understand English.  I think we expected it to be a little bit more the other way!!  It's been very interesting to get used to not being able to communicate with just anyone - you get really good at talking through hand motions, pointing and broken words in their language (if you happen to know a couple that apply to what you're talking about!! :) Don't get me wrong though, there are many people who can speak at least a little English.  Sometimes if they don't speak it they can still understand it.  At least that's here in Germany.  Now France is another story.  Last weekend we went to Normandy (which was wonderful - I can't wait to post about it!!) and down by the beaches and in the tourist area people are bilingual.  Once you get out into the other towns and areas though it's almost impossible to find an English speaking French person!!!  What we've learned in our travels though is that if we're in need of directions or need help figuring something out, you look for someone from the younger generation (in any of the countries we've traveled to) because they are now learning English in their schools and are normally pretty happy to help!!

So, as far as that nice older Bavarian (southern Germany) gentleman goes - he didn't speak English at all and I don't think he could understand it either!!!  We just pulled out the camera, smiled and pointed to it and then him - he got the idea.  He was trying to visit with us and was so nice - we communicated a little through hand motions and a very few common words.  It was a neat experience and we were happy to get the picture - I think he was just as happy to oblige. :)

So Mikaela, I hope that answered your inquires very well and that everyone enjoyed yet another look into life in a foreign country!!

We've had a great past few days.  I can't wait to get more pictures up of travels and recent happenings (believe me, I am trying!!! :)

Blessings to you all!!


P.S.  We really liked that waterfall too!!!

1 comment:

Mikaela said...

Thank you for so thoroughly satisfying my curiosity! What wonderful experiences you all are gaining through immersion in these different cultures!