The laundry, the missing items at the market, driving and – least we forget – the metric system. It is easy to get tripped up. There are a few instances however where opening my mouth and spewing my distinguishable American accent has helped.
Pro: Pals taught us that sometimes you can ride for free on the train because the conductors never check your ticket. If you get caught on your way off the train you simply pay the ride fare. I got caught but quickly played the “this is my first time on a big ol’ fancy train by my little lonesome” card in my best faux-southern accent and they cut me a break.
Con: Using an American credit card or having to take a few extra minutes to figure out which-coins-are-which when paying for something is the equivalent of writing a check, slow.
Pro: Playing the newbie card and having the chance to try new food and drinks for free.
Con: Playing the newbie card and trying new foods, like nachos, only to find out it’s horrendous. (Picture Tostitos chips with grated cheese thrown in the microwave.)
Pro: Finally having the chance to watch European football and appreciate the excitement with the locals.
Con: Having Andrew tell me “how to play EU football” in public. I immediately try to shut him up. Nothing worse than going to a game in the states and hearing the “that yellow line is only seen on TV” tutorial given to some poor girl.
You win some you lose some, but we’re playing the game.