Thursday, December 01, 2005

Dear Jura of Switzerland: Never mind!

I fixed our Jura coffee machine today. I got out the screwdriver, took the top off, poked and prodded, vacuumed the thing out, decalcified parts that aren't really meant to be decalcified, worked. I basically took the thing apart, cleaned it out, and put it back together again. REALLY!!! I should have taken a picture of the machine when it was in pieces on the kitchen counter, but I thought that any sort of distraction might result in me not being able to put the damn thing back together again. The "CLEAN NOW" light has been replaced by the "COFFEE READY" light. What this all means is that the Jura machine has received a stay of execution by sledgehammer...for the time being.
Later in the afternoon, I bumped into a fellow Finlander at the grocery store. I happened to glance down at a lady's shopping cart, and I saw that she was buying about eight cans of Lapin Kulta (a Finnish beer). So I took a chance and blurted out: "Olet ko sinä Suomalainen?" (Are you a Finn?). As it turns out, she was. We had a nice little chat, and I'm proud to say that she told me that my Finnish is better than hers. She's lived in Switzerland for forty-four years, and she said she's forgotten a lot of Finnish because her husband is Swiss and she either speaks German or English all of the time.
I like random encounters with Finns. It's kind of like belonging to a secret club. NOBODY can understand a word we're saying and, as I've said before, I can tell it drives the Swiss people crazy to hear a language that they can't recognize. Haista puskka Sveitsilainen!!!
I ended up going into town a little later to a bookstore to buy a book for my French class. I also stopped at a couple of other stores jabbering away in my broken German the whole time. DAMN!!! Finnish, French, German, English...I'm turning into the freakin' U.N.!!!


Unknown said...

I envy you! You're definitely a wanted and needed commodity. I really think it is a gift when parents give their children language skills.

When I get a chance to actually use some of it, it always turns out the person is Swiss German and not from French side of Switzerland. But there are swiss hiding out here. Just yesterday I saw the famous Eidelweiss.

CanadianSwiss said...

Hey TBF! If OUR Jura machine ever breaks dow, I'll make sure to contact you ;). As for the language mix, I know the feeling. At work I am often forced to switch from french to high german to english, then back to french and end up being totally confused and swearing in Schwytzerdütsch!

granny p said...

I like Finns. My kids now my grandkids and me all love Tove Jannson. Once upon a time I had dinner with a Finnish witch. It was interesting. Maybe I should go to Finland one day? What do you think?

(I have been to Switzerland. It was funnily enough where I met the Finnish witch. Have no desire to go back to Switzerland. Your experience with the shower cleaner sums up why. The only surprise there is that she didn't hose you down too.)

The Big Finn said...

Dear granny p:
Everybody in Spain should go to Finland at least once in their lifetime the balance out the huge amount of Finns who travel to Spain for vacation.
About 50% of Finns are really stern (must be the long winters) - in that respect it's a little like Switzerland. But, the other 50% of Finns are happy people who laugh a lot and enjoy life.