''cultural differences''

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Erica and Piotr love each other so much; I've witnessed a lot of sweet/funny/silly interactions between them. My favorite ''Erica and Piotr moment'', however, occurred the Friday night that we both arrived in Poland. We were staying with the other Piotr's parents at their huge house in Zorawina, and the 4 of us (me, Erica, Piotr, Piotr) were sitting at the kitchen table. Piotr says, ''hey, can I make a toast?'' and immeidately I know what he is asking. He's asking the other Piotr, at whose house we are all guests, if he can use some of their bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich with ketchup. Of course that's what that means. The other Piotr knew exactly what he meant, too. Erica, however, simply smiled and, raising her glass of water, said, ''Of course! What are we toasting to?''

Other examples of cultural clashes in conversation:

(while driving through Erlangen)
Me: Turn left up here, past that man standing in the scuba outfit.
Him:  What?
Me: The man on the corner, standing in the scuba outfit. Turn left there.
Him: That is not a man.
Me: Oh. So it's a mannequin, whatever.
Him: Yes and it's an advertisment for the scuba store.
Me: Okay, well, I thought it was a real person. It looks like a real person.
Him: This isn't America, Jenni. People don't just....stand on street corners in scubadiving outfits.
(because in America, that happens everywhere????)

or...


(after he dropped a Pringle on the floor)
Me: Please don't eat that. Throw that away.
Him: What? 5 second rule.
Me: You know about the 5 second rule???
Him: Everyone knows about the 5 second rule. I didn't grow up in the jungle.

(in my defense, you can't even drink the tapwater in Poland. how was i supposed to know they have the 5 second rule?)

or.....

(in Poland, last weekend)
Me: I know you hate sweets but you should try some of the candy my mom sent.
Him: Thanks, but I don't like that stuff.
Me: How would you know?
Him: I've had all of that candy before.
Me: You've had a Snickers?
Him: Yes.  In Poland - the formerly communist, ''Eastern European'' country - we are civilized enough to have Snickers.
(I probably should have know that one.)


^^ the scuba store in erlangen (scuba man not pictured ^^

5 comments:

Jan said...

How funny!! How could anyone not like a snickers!!!

Kayla said...

I love these all so much!

Cloie's mom said...

Hi Elephant! Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That makes me laugh too!

Chiara.Illustrator said...

Hi Jenni!!
I love your blog, really!
You're German? I'm an Italian girl and I love Germany very much!
I was in München and Köln and beautiful cities. You've never been to Italy?
I follow you! You'll look in my blog!
A hug
Chiara

Nikki said...

OMG I so need to get off your blog but I'm crying from laughter at this!! I just want to save all of this to show to my hubby later because it's sooooooo like us! You're such a great writer, it's hilarious to read and I'm laughing so hard. And the "you're a ridiculous dog" thing--oh man I've offended my man too many times with thiings like that, that should be nothing! but he gets offended. oops.