Cooking and Stuttering

April 15, 2009 § Leave a comment

My latest wish in my experience here is that Norwegian were easier to translate to English. There are the obvious reasons for this of course, but one of the more latent dilemmas concerns cooking. Tonight, while reaching in the cabinet to find some salt, I came across a box with a picture of corn on it. I inspected the contents and noted it was a powdery, white substance. Not trusting my immediate assumptions I tried to define it using the dictionary, but had to enter the name online to discover that it was in fact corn flour. I figured that I would try some new cooking skills and make some homemade corn tortillas to complement my chicken dish. I poured some flour into a bowl and added hot water as the recipe demanded. I spent 10 minutes extremely frustrated with the chameleon consistency and difficulty stirring. I tasted the mix and finally realized it was cornstarch. I had just made the same “gak” playdough substance we used to play with in kindergarten. These translation skills of mine are sure to be a significant part of my success here.

I should also bring attention to my fabulous language skills. Today I had to go into the town center to visit the employment office and get a few groceries. I’ve learned in the last couple weeks that people respond in a more positive regard if you first attempt to speak Norwegian and then mumble your way into English. I’m assuming it is the humbling nature of this action that reduces the stress they feel when forced to speak English. I was successful in the employment office, as she aided me in registering as a jobseeker and explained how to search for jobs online. At the grocery store I was a little bit more clumsy in my verbal expression and shook my head in response to my amalgamation of Norwegian, Spanish and English. Since arriving here I’ve developed various speech impediments, including stuttering. I crave the day I can conduct an effective verbal transaction.

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