Grocery shopping in a foreign country is really an experience. Especially so if you don't know the language! I have taken seven years of German and two years of Spanish and know a few words here and there of Gaelic, Russian and French. I am not fluent in any of them, but I don't think it would take much to be so in German, if I was there for say a month or so. However, the few words and phrases I know in Russian sound completely different when strung together into a sentence by a Russian. . .completely foreign! : )
So, while in Russia, we were taken to a grocery store a couple of times because, well, we were hungry and knew our driver and translator weren't going to be able to take us somewhere to eat for quite a while. We stocked up on bottled water, cheese and bread, beer and I found some pastries that looked yummy for breakfast. I was alone at the pastry counter and decided to try and ask for the pastries myself. Quite intelligently, I pointed at the ones I wanted and held up four fingers, and said "Spasiba (Russian for thank you)" thinking to myself, I'm so smart! I'm going to take care of this without the translator! Well, the lady behind the counter said, and I quote: " lkdjflajg;dfj;oaidsjf;sidjf;laadfjgaov." I stared at her and replied, "Un momento, por favor!" I then turned, burst into laughter at myself and went in search of our translator! So much for doing that on my own! Funny how the mind works in a situation like that. It will look for whatever phrase might work, no matter the language!
I'm looking into getting the program for Rosetta Stone to learn a little more Russian before we go again!
The pastries were terrible, by the way, but the beer was wonderful that evening with the cheese and bread!