Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You'd Think After Being Here Over 18 Months, I'd know...


you learn something everyday (particularly living in a foreign country).

For the last few weeks I have been having terrible hair days. My hair has been extremely limp, flat, heavy and always feels quite greasy... even immediately after washing my hair in the shower. I figured it was either me or perhaps this new shampoo I'd been using.

Yesterday I was chatting with Regina while watching our kids (Gerrit and William) run around in their Kinder Turnen class. We were chatting about bathing kids, etc. and she mentioned that when she washes her kids she only uses shampoo, no "spülhung" on them.

"Wait, no spülhung?" I ask. "Is spülhung conditioner?"

"Yes," she says.

I start to laugh. No wonder my hair has been so dull, limp, and greasy. I haven't been WASHING my hair for the past two weeks. I've been CONDITIONING it.... over and over again... piling it on without ever WASHING the darn stuff out.

The store was out of the shampoo we'd been buying here so I decided to try a new shampoo... or so I thought. It said "spülhung" on it. I remember thinking, "Gee I hope this actually IS shampoo." But I quickly dismissed my doubt reassuring myself that my "Spül Maschine" at home was indeed my dishwasher. So I figured it was a special type of shampoo, maybe for a specific hair type. No matter. So I bought it.

Silly, Stephanie. Regina later corrected my misunderstanding. "No. Spülen is to rinse so your dishwasher is rinsing your dishes."

Wait... my dishwasher (Spülmaschine) is only RINSING my dishes but my washing machine (Waschmaschine) is actually WASHING my clothes? Nah, nah, nah. In this case, I feel it's a bit of a poor German word choice.... and oh so confusing for a silly foreigner like me.

Last night I hopped in the shower with a fresh bottle of ACTUAL shampoo. Heavenly. And this time I actually WASHED my hair.



At May 7, 2009 at 1:16 AM , Blogger JRSofty said...

I have constantly complained about how the German use of words. The worst is when the word sounds very close to an English word, and has an almost but not quite similar meaning which really causes for some fun confusion around the office. Like when a colleague once asked me "Did you become my email?" needless to say this was the oddest sentence that I had ever heard before. Or another time when another colleague asked me "Jason you're a freak, right?"

At May 7, 2009 at 8:33 AM , Blogger Sarah K said...

Oh, Steph. That is almost as hilarious as your commentary on the poop shelf. Glad to hear your hair got a well-deserved washing!

At May 7, 2009 at 10:43 AM , Blogger Steph said...

Stephanie would like to report that her hair now separates into individual strands when brushing it, rather than staying in giant clumps that stick to her face. Aaahh... I felt like one of those Herbal Essences shower models after washing my hair yesterday. :)

At May 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM , Blogger Bishop said...

I feel for you, Steph! It can be so frustrating being in a foreign country where you almost know what it is you're shopping for, but not quite.

It reminds me of my first trip to Brazil, when I went out for a 4-pack of toilet paper, and came back with a 2-pack of paper towels instead. The packaging and labeling looked so similar!


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