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Things That Could Get Really Complicated To Accomplish In A Foreign Language (Part I)

Get a Foreign Language Haircut

The first time I got my hair cut in Spanish was a scary business. I was used to asking for a bit of extra length on top and nicely shaved in at the back and side in the UK (no, I am not much of a follower of fashion now that you ask).

However, when I was confronted by a South American barber for the first time my limited vocabulary led to me mumbling something about not wanting it shorter than it already was. The situation wasn’t helped by the fact that I was in a country where mullets are still seen as a reasonable hairstyle option and I had a horrible vision of spending the rest of my trip looking like a backpacking Billy Ray Cyrus. Thankfully, he appeared to be a mind reader (the barber, not Billy Ray) but I wonder what other everyday situations could get us in a lather when a foreign language is involved.

Eating Simple Food

A guy I met in Ecuador said that he had spend a week travelling round Chile and hadn’t eaten a thing in the first three days because he couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. This was an exaggeration I am sure but it is easy to end up finding it tough to eat anything when you don’t know what to ask for or what the menu says. Self service supermarkets and buffet style restaurants are probably the best bet if you want to take your time and not have to say very much. Of course, if you learn with Listen & Learn before you head off then you can eat like a king.