Thursday, December 07, 2006

All in a Day's Work

Hi, this is Ron. I have to tell you about my interesting day. First, most of the time, I don’t have to do any of these things alone, but my co-worker is out on an outreach in one of the local villages. So, I had to borrow a teammate’s car and go to the Patichca (Moldova’s version of Home Depot mixed with the swap meet) to buy pipe for the mission center. I bought 9 meters of pipe and loaded it into the car. Hmmm, it stuck out the window about one foot, but I figured that was no problem since I see far more than that regularly on the streets. Well, I got about a kilometer or so down the road and was pulled over by the police. Although being pulled over by the police is a common occurrence, it is the first time it has happened to me!

Well, I gave the appropriate documents and waited for the reason I was pulled over. The officer said something I didn’t understand. When I asked him to repeat it slower please, he just spoke faster and louder. I had to tell him I didn’t understand and he just said the same words over again and louder. He kept pointing at the pipe but I had no idea why or what he wanted from me. I thought it was because he didn’t think I could see out of the side mirror so I explained that I could see without a problem, but still he kept yakking. After about ten minutes he got so angry at me that he threw the documents into the car and left. So . . . I went on to my next stop.

I went to a tile store to buy the tile for all of the bathrooms. I walked in to buy two boxes of border tiles and told the lady in Romanian that I wanted two boxes and showed her my one tile. So, the man working there went into the back room and returned with two tile pieces. So I repeated that I wanted two boxes. The lady didn’t understand my Romanian word for box so she asked me to write it down . . . so I did. BOX (in English. . .I had no idea how to write the Romanian word) Now she is lauging, the man is laughing, so finally I pointed to the back room and asked the man to take me back there so I could show him what I want. So we go back there and I point to two boxes. Then he says, good . . . two boxes (in Romanian) and it sounded exactly the same as what I said. Apparently he thought I was saying I wanted two books. I guess it’s all in the pronunciation!

Then I went to a local lumber yard type of store to buy nails and cement. Sounds so simple. I thought it was so simple; I even had a good enough vocabulary to buy one kilogram of nails and ten sacks of cement. I asked for what I wanted, and the lady didn’t understand how many sacks of cement I wanted. I said the word for ten correctly but she didn’t like my pronunciation so after correcting me, she made me repeat it until she was satisfied that she could understand it. Then she happily sold me the cement and nails.

All in a days’ work!