Posted by: Moon | August 7, 2012

This life can be very lonely ..

Gobby, Witty, Loud, Confident etc …. often words that might of described me in the past (plus plenty of others), but now I think better words might be sullen, quiet, reserved, moody, introvert …. all of which might be true at a first glance, but underneath, just a mask of the position of life I am in. Let me explain.

My Slovak is, well, let’s say, limited. I can do all the polite things, even shopping etc, but, when it comes to a group of people, esp family, that know each other well, that relax and just have general banter, I still get lost. If people take the time to talk slowly, simple words, I can hold my own, but, otherwise, I need Miska to be around to help me translate, to keep me in the game so to speak !

Well, Miska has forgotten this, in her defence, she is actually giving me more credit that I deserve, she thinks that I can now cope, and believes that if left alone, I will be ok, and will learn faster. Sadly, she is wrong. We speak about it, she realizes this, but, it is tough for her to remember. Especially when we are hosting, she is busy with getting things ready, and then, with 10 people all talking at once, she forgets to hear my voice. Another issue you don’t realize is this, When is the right time to talk ? When you all speak the same language, it’s simple, you understand, know when sentences end, and can chip in .. I can’t do that ! I have no idea when the lull is right for me to talk. I also find it impossible that people NEVER respect when I am talking to Miska, they just but in, talk over me. I find this very rude, BUT, the same logic has to be applied… Do they know when a natural break is coming when we talk English ?

I found myself on Sunday feeling very alone in amongst all these people that love me and care for me. I had tried maybe 5 times to get involved, tried talking to people about work and the weather (limited Slovak remember), but after one sentence, they were off talking about general family shite we all talk about at BBQ’s.

I went and sat in the pool with my Son, that was perfect, until, the couples little girl, 3 yrs old joins us, and talks to me in Slovak / Czech …. lost again, I have to either disappoint her (she looks at me like I am a tool), or call for Miska to translate …. after a few mins, she realizes that I am in fact a Tool, and goes off to the trampoline, taking Matej with her, leaving me in the pool, alone again. Eventually, I get out, walk off and disappear inside, no-one is going to miss me anyway.

So, I have become a very quiet person. I don’t get to talk at all, only when Miska and I are alone. When people visit, I tend to do the polite thing, but then retreat to leave them to talk without me. It makes me sad at times, and even more determined to learn Slovak (which I might add, I am finding VERY hard to do). That is the only answer here, and, telling Miska I still need her help. It frustrates me that friends and family have given up on me, trying to engage me, I guess there are only so many times they can ask “How are You?” …..

*Sigh

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Responses

  1. Hi Moon!

    I love reading your blogs, so elegantly and eloquently written, you capture and carry me away in descriptive the moment.

    This one a little more thought provoking, I often read your fb updates and envy the life you have made for yourself out there, I guess there is a ying and a yang to every decision we make but it isn’t always obvious to those sitting on the outside.

    I guess I won’t ask ‘how you are’…

    • Thanks Lysa, thats a nice thing to say. Yes, there are always pro’s and Con’s, not every life is as idylic as we would like, but this is pretty close, and this problem, I can solve over time x

  2. Moon, don’t get discouraged! Remember you didn’t learn English overnight either! And it is so much harder to learn a language when you’re a little older. I think when the little guy starts speaking both languages it will be easier for you to catch on; hang in there.

    • I have no choice but to hang in there, and yes, I know I will get there in the end, it just takes some will power and determination to learn this ..

  3. Hey Buddy, I hesitated replying to this comment of yours as I did not want my usual “politically incorrect” approach to strain an otherwise blissful friendship. So, in place of commenting, let me relate my experience with a second language, and perhaps it might lend a different perspective to your situation. If not, maybe it will make you smile.

    When I attended high school we had to learn French. It is, after all, the ‘other’ official language here in Canada. So I approached the class with same level of commitment I had for all my subjects – low, very low. Unfortunately, I soon discovered a very troubling truth: I could cram for exams in biology, chemistry, history, English Lit etc, but not that damn French language. So I actually had to try. I did make myself a promise though, and that was that I would forget everything once I got my Grade 12 diploma. I got my diploma, went on to University, and forgot my French.

    Then along comes the summer break between year one and year two at the University of Saskatchewan. And what am I asked to do? Why, travel across Canada to the Eastern Townships of Quebec, live in a small town, and play golf. Sounds great right, except that no one there spoke English (I know they did, but they refused to as this was a hotbed of the Separatist movement). So now I had to call on my Grade 12 French. Troubling times Moon, as all I could remember was “Labatts 50, big one!” and the followup “I need to take a piss!”

    So there I was, able to order beer and get directions to the toilet. Nothing else, I swear. Golf was interesting, especially if someone holed a long putt and all I could do was stand on the fringe, fist pump the air, and say “I need to take a piss!” Anyway, there are many more stories, some funny and some not so funny. But I did make friends, and I did survive.

    So will you. I’ve seen you after a bad duff or a duck hook, and strength of character will always pull you through. Have confidence, and whatever you do, learn “I have to take a piss!” in Slovak. You’ll be surprised how quickly it breaks the ice.

    • Wise words my friend. I know, you are right, just seems so far away to be able to have normal conversations again, people that understand my humour… oh, and btw, what duck hook ????

  4. Hi, I really feel for you! My husband is from Japan, I’m from Slovakia and we live in the UK. He has exactly the same problem as you, even half of my family speaks English, but for some reason can’t be bother to speak when he is around! So he spends lot of time with a book while over in Slovakia.
    I know slovak is quite difficult to learn.
    Wish you a good luck!
    K

    • yeah, I know that feeling, they have stopped trying to speak simple Slovak to me now, so, out of habit, and go back to the laptop or tv instead, its just accpeted now

  5. Love you Moon – never forget that, even if we are thousands of miles away!

    • I know, just a down time right now, I know it is temp, but maybe, you could come here for a chat (might be a little expensive?)

  6. Yup. I went to live in France at 20, knowing basic GCSE stuff. It was like I took on a different personality, gone was the jokey chatty girl. Locked in silence! It’s very frustrating. By the end of the year I could manage if people talked directly to me but at dinner parties I had no idea what was going on. Good luck! x


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