I’m on fire today – TWO posts in one day!
Actually, it’s really just because I’m totally overheated from hauling myself back from the mall in the heat, and now can do nothing else but sit on the couch in front of the fan drinking water, so I figured I might as well air some more random thoughts out into cyberspace.
The mall also gave me a story to relay. I bought desperately needed new work shoes, went to Peek & Cloppenburg to get a work wardrobe refresher (despite my admiration of the more minimalist, simplistic European wardrobe, I really needed at least 1 new article to be able to throw into the mix this year if I was going to keep my sanity), Carrefour for printing paper/a new shower curtain/a hammer (“and these…are not the hammer!”), and stopped by the little Jeff/Vivacom store booth outside the Carrefour on my way out in order to put another 20 leva on my cell phone.
Well, usually this is very simple and goes off without a hitch, but for some reason the salesgirl who was working there today decided to actually BE a salesgirl (oddly enough, the saleswomen at the shoe place and P&C were also very friendly and helpful today) and launched into this long pitch about something I could sign up for something that wasn’t a contract but that gave me a better deal than just buying a 20 leva pre-paid voucher. She pulled out a price chart and explained to me the three price tiers of this program, and how you could purchase a within-network package and/or an all-networks package, the minutes, text messages, the whole deal…and all in Bulgarian.
Now, I’ve been having a little bit of re-entry rockiness with my Bulgarian. Much like I’m sure my kids will be with their English, I’m just a little slower on the uptake and it takes a hair longer for me to recall words and conjugations and to be able to string together sentences.
So this just proves to me how little language you actually need to know in order to be sold a cell phone contract (I know, it wasn’t a contract). It was impressive and a little frightening all at the same time. On the one hand, it’s encouraging to a language learner that a native speaker understands you even when your verb conjugations and adjective endings aren’t all correct. But on the other hand, what could I eventually be lured into purchasing or signing away based on understanding 20% of the verbal explanation/agreement??
Here, I understood the gist of what she was saying (or at least believed I did) and asked some questions (with likely very poor grammar) to clarify the essentials, and we had a good 10 minute transaction…which culminated in my not being able to purchase the better deal anyway because my Bulgarian ID card is currently expired and I haven’t gotten my new one yet, and I didn’t have my passport on me (not expecting to need it). So nice little salesgirl Yana had to just sell me the 20 leva voucher that I had asked for in the first place and, I suspect, possibly lost out on a bit of a commission, but she was super sweet about it. So if you need to get your cell phone options explained to you, I suggest you go see her.