It started a couple of weeks ago with New York Guy. Man, what an asshole. We rolled our eyes together and I got a smile. When I came in tonight she was behind the bar and she gave a ghost of a smile as we exchanged the briefest of pleasantries before I headed for a table in the back.
It was She Who Smiles Rarely who took my order. “Steak zhuh kurzhitschkafrig,” I said.
“Steak z ku?ecího?”
“Ano, Steak z kurzhetsho”
That went back and forth a couple of times. She knew exactly what I wanted, and she was helping me learn to say it. Steak from chicken thing, A local delicacy. Finally I punted on the pronunciation and just said “Dvah nahtct awesome”. They write down the order by number anyway. With a smile she drilled me on the correct pronunciation of 28. We worked out that I also wanted rice and she was gone.
It was her next visit I really scored. My beer was perilously close to empty and she came by and asked “One more beer?” In English. I mentioned in a previous episode that if they spoke english here I didn’t want to know about it. I waved my hands in the negative while I said, “Je
There is only one language you need to speak my friend. The Language of Love…
It would be easy to read too much into those smiles. I know. I did it.
The smiles are your reward for making the effort. Demonstrating a willingness to learn even the most rudimentary elements of the local launguage and customs puts you ahead of 75% of all tourists and 95% of american tourists.
Extra credit: At some point in this budding relationship, you’ll have to learn to say SWSMTSUT in Czech. That will be a milestone at which you reveal:
a.) that you have a nickname for her, and
b.) that you are demonstrating a willingness to observe and improve the most rudimentary elements of how she is feeling.
Did you learn the lingo when you visited Scotland? Man, that’s a weird language they’ve got up there.
As for learning the language, there is a large community of American expats who live here but don’t speak a word of czech. My czech teacher’s boyfriend, for instance, does not speak any czech at all. I’ve been pretty slow to pick it up, but I’m getting there. Saying SWSMTSUT will be a way off, even though it’s in the present tense, the only tense I know.
There is something very compelling and romantic about living, existing, loving and writing in the present tense, even if (maybe especially if) you have no alternative. There is no tomorrow, no yesterday, no future perfect….
Kiss me, you fool!