DGIF (Danke Gott ist Freitag!)

I’m at the end of the first week on the job here in Germany and, well, I don’t know what the hell I am doing. But that isn’t so new. If I knew exactly what I was doing it would be probably not be interesting anymore.

As usual Lucy has been doing a great job with her blog (I didn’t forget my own wife’s name — Lucy Stone is her new nickname, ha) so you can read lots there on how we are doing. She has written a good bit about language stuff, and that does seem to be the big culture shock, the German language. But we’re taking a class and hearing a lot of German, so hopefully we will improve. By the way, the title of the post could be a correct translation. I emphasize, it could be.

I am hearing some German at work, though all the meetings have been conducted in English. But other things are usually in German. For example, someone had a birthday yesterday and there was a gathering in her office. Almost all the discussion was auf Deutsch (including the birthday song). I just hung out, drank my plastic cup of red wine, and before I left made sure to find the birthday girl to say: “Hi we haven’t met yet, but Happy Birthday!”

My real language issues at work are of a different kind, though. Principally, that I don’t speak any C++, and I know only a little more Unix than I do German. So talking to the computers is sometimes tricky. If they understand what I say, though, then they answer back in a mix of English and numbers, which I guess is good. The numbers are often more useful than the English, in fact. I understand the word segmentation, and I understand the word fault, but that doesn’t mean I know what a “segmentation fault” is or what to do about it. It sounds bad, though, right? All the segments should stay together, I am convinced of that. Why they might fail to segmentate, or what they are segments of, though, no idea.

But all things considered, we are doing very well. I just have to ask lots of questions and figure out what’s going on!

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