My German sweet-talking skills

Sourtrout returned from his business trip in Mannheim on Saturday afternoon. Once he was back in Penzberg, our friend Jeremy drove us to Weilheim so we could buy our household appliances. We went to Media Markt, which is kind of like a German H.H. Gregg. Their slogan makes me laugh: Ich bin doch nicht blöd, which means “I’m not stupid.” The idea is that you’re a smart consumer to be shopping at Media Markt, but in translation, anyway, it’s kind of a funny slogan!

We picked out all of our appliances and proceeded to order them. The clerk ordering for us was pleased to have such a big sale, and he was super helpful. Then we needed to apply for financing since we are just getting ourselves set up. When I had been in the store earlier in the week, one of the finance clerks told me I needed ‘s passport and work contract. It turned out that we also needed his most recent bank statement because we were buying so much. He didn’t have that bit of information with him, and for about ten minutes, it looked like we weren’t going to get financed on Saturday afternoon. The finance clerk said I would need to come back on Monday.

The first difficulty is that, not having a car, I wouldn’t have been able to return until Tuesday when Jeremy was available. The second difficulty is that we would have lost out on a fabulous deal – we qualified for 400 Euros in gift cards due to what we purchased, but Saturday was the last day the offer was available. There were also a few other small details that we had to negotiate.

I was very kind, but very firm, and I told the finance clerk that she didn’t give me all the information I needed when I was in on Tuesday. Then I told her we were moving into our house and with the baby, we needed our appliances. I mentioned that since we were from the US, we didn’t have any appliances because of the difference in plugs and electrical current (and so on).

At first she seemed like she didn’t want to help us, but then she paused and then said, “Well… let me ask my manager.”

And lo and behold, suddenly everything was okay. We were then able to sit down and get our financing in order, and our appliances will be delivered and installed at our house on Tuesday. That means I can finally do my own laundry! I’m so excited about that. The only catch is that I need to have the missing paperwork for the delivery people when they arrive, but that is not a problem.

Anyway, this transaction made me feel quite proud of my negotiating skills in German. Of course, having a very sweet and well-behaved baby helped – Rosebud is quite the charmer!

Being a German teacher, of course I have a thorough knowledge of the language and I’ve always been very confident in my ability to express myself in the language. But being able to successfully ask detailed questions about our appliances, to set up all the delivery details and persuade the clerk to proceed with the financing even though a piece of paperwork was missing gave me great satisfaction. A+ for me! 🙂

Rosebud’s playmate Abi had her second birthday today. We had a lovely time, and it was especially nice for me as I met some German parents and kids. In particular, we met a mother named Veronika and her daughter Lily. Lily is incredibly cute, and she is just three months older than Rosebud! Veronika and I got on extremely well, so we will hopefully get together for tea and to let our daughters play together. I really enjoyed talking with the German parents and getting tips on activities we can do.

I am such a teacher, though. 😉 We gave Abi a book of German nursery rhymes with a CD so she can listen to it. The book is especially designed to help develop early speaking skills. I couldn’t help myself buying it, as I always have an eye out for items that are both fun and educational.

For part of Abi’s birthday party, we took a walk through their town,

Benediktbeuern.

Benediktbeuern is known for its closter Kloster Benediktbeuern and the gorgeous Basilica St. Benedikt. The founder of the convent is was Johannes Bosco, born near Turin, Italy, who is often referred to as Don Bosco. We didn’t have much time to explore the convent and the grounds today as it was pretty chilly outside, but come Spring, I would to spend an afternoon there with Rosebud. If you read German, you’ll notice that there are lots of activities going on at the convent and I gather that it’s an important part of the regional community.

I learned an interesting fact, too: originally, the town was called Benedictoburanus. In the abbey, the Codex Burana was stored – it was a manuscript of 13th century songs. It’s also called the Carmina Burana, which you may know from the musical work by Carl Orff. The Burana part of the name, as you may gather, is from the old name of the town.

We had a lot of snow on Friday and Saturday, and it’s been quite cold. I have been wishing for my cross-country skis which are packed in our container! Maybe this coming weekend, once we’ve got our stuff, I’ll be able to do some cross-country skiing. If that happens, I promise I’ll take pictures of the Bavarian countryside by our house.

We have not yet heard about a delivery date for our items, but I am sure it will be sometime this week. We are just waiting for our items to clear customs. Once we get the phone call saying that our container has cleared customs, then it will be three days or less for our move-in. The hotel has been very nice, but I am very ready to be in our own place.

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2 responses to “My German sweet-talking skills

  1. Melinda, glad to hear you’re getting things in order to move into your house!!! What a relief when everything finally arrives! (and great job on the negotiating skills!!)
    We miss you and are looking forward to when we can Skype and see & hear you guys. Things here are staying busy, Justin just scheduled his first two CPA tests for next week, and took next week off so he can prepare for them. I am just trying to keep up on things. By the way, I sent you guys a package last Fri to your home address, so hopefully that will make it in the next week or so. Love you and miss you all!!!
    Andrea

  2. bowmansinbavaria

    Andrea, we really miss both of you. The most difficult part of being here is being away from the people we love most.

    It looks like our internet at home will be set up on either Monday or Wednesdy – then we can Skype! And play Little Big Planet online! 🙂

    Please tell Justin that we wish him the best on his tests. *fingers crossed* He has studied and done a lot of prep, I know, so hopefully he’ll have no difficulties.

    Today I attempted to goto the post office but it was closed – that’s what you get for living in a small town.

    Rosebud misses you! She has changed so much in the past month. When you see her in June, she’ll be even more grown up! Tentatively, we plan on being in Indy/Cincy from June 3-17.

    Hope school is going well; it is strange to not be teaching.
    with love from all of us.

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