Saturday, November 11, 2006

A little cultural overload at the symphony

One of my friends here is a musician and she attends an art school in our city, this past week she was playing in a symphony so she called to invite me. I rarely turn down an opportunity to go to any performance so I made my way to the theatre and arrived 30 minutes early. It was already crowded, but since I was alone I figured I could find a seat. So I entered the theatre in search for a seat. I asked every row with vacant seats if they were available and every single person told me they were taken. Then because I look young several people began to yell at me and tell me since I was a student I didn’t need to sit down. I was very happy to inform them I was not a student but a teacher. This did not help my case finding a seat so I finally made my way back to the top of the theatre and ask this old man if the seats in the middle were taken. He didn’t know so at this point I was getting frustrated and therefore my language was getting fumbled and I attempted to ask him to ask the people farther if the seats were taken. Of course they were. So I decided I had a great spot standing in the back I would just stand for the concert if I was allowed to. (Fire codes aren’t as strict as they are in America). So I struck up a conversation with this sweet old man, who asked me if I spoke German and then told me that he learned in WWII. We were having a great conversation when this sweet man told me that he would tell the people to let me sit down. Of course I insisted that standing was just fine. Then all of a sudden several pushy large women came barreling through and pushed me about 1/3 the way down the isle in search for their own seat. (I am convinced they would have trampled me.) I just couldn’t handle any more of this experience so I slowly made my way up stream to the exit, fighting back tears and decided I would wait in the lobby for the concert to be over and then I would join my friend for tea afterwards. PTL I had our Ipod with me and I found a scrap piece of paper in my purse and tuned the world out around me, for the next hour I sat pouring out my frustrations on that little piece of paper. Tea went great with my friend after the concert and I was ready to reengage in this culture for another hour. When Marvin got home from basketball and I told him that I had a really bad day and he broke out the word for Why in this language, I nearly lost it again. Apparently I was not in the mood to hear this language yet. So we popped in a DVD and experienced hearing English for a while. It is funny how something this small could be so frustrating. I am very glad now that I am enjoying communicating with the people here as well as the culture.

1 comment:

tim said...

Thanks for sharing. We're thinking about you guys.