I went shopping yesterday. I needed leggings (it’s somewhat chilly and rainy here in Nigde) plus we plan to go dancing in Cappadocia and I have NOTHING to wear. But Nigde is anything but touristy and so very few people speak English.
This is where the ability to kickass at charades comes in handy. First, the tights. I was walking along the street that seemed dedicated to clothes and I passed a shop with footless tights in a bin outside. Good enough. I sorted through but needed longer ones so went in side, held them up to my leg and mined “longer” .
She got it and pulled out a longer pair. I pointed to my but and gestured that I needed to make sure they fit . (I do have some “junk in the trunk” as it were). She held the tight up and pulled them to show the stretch. Nice. She totally got it. Purchase made.
So I went looking for a t-shirt. I entered the store and all the sales people were standing around looking bored (seems that’s international). I said “Hi” and wow, did they perk up once they realized I was American. By the time I was finished looking around and had a few things to try on, I had three sales people talking to me and we were all making hand gestures.
While they were good at charades, I couldn’t say much for their fashion sense. They tried to get me to wear an aqua, satin tunic top and leggings. Um, they eighties called and they want their clothes back.
Still, it was great fun and we were all laughing and chatting thought neither side understood a single freaking word. And as it turned out, neither side needed to speak the same language. For me, that brings home the lesson that words are just a tiny tiny partof communication. Facial expressions, gestures and tone conveyed everything that needed to be said.
I hope they understood how much fun I had and how much I enjoyed “speaking” to them!