Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Counting down

Tonight we had a lovely chicken tikka masala dinner, prepared by Rob obviously. Resa and Nick came over to join us, which means our house is a little cleaner is right now than it is usually. I also had my first Scooter's tonight since we began our "Operation Portugal" campaign to get in shape... which has been reasonably successful for me and wildly successful for Rob. So it wasn't entirely undeserved. Although I still have a ways to go.

Tonight it also feels like we're counting down to all kinds of things. Technically Friday should be my last day at work, but I'm actually staying a little bit longer to help get a few more opinions issued... and because I don't want to leave :). Nevertheless, I'm done with all my official work on Friday, which is a very nice milestone to hit. This weekend is the Wood Clerk reunion, so we'll be busy with that all day Friday and Saturday. We hit the road on Saturday evening for Cleveland, as this weekend is also the M-narik family reunion. So we'll arrive late Saturday night but we'll be around on Sunday to chill with the family. Our family is heading to the Cleveland Indians game on Sunday afternoon -- 50 tickets strong! Can't wait to see the Yankees lose!

Then of course, on the 17th we leave for Europe. London for three days, Portugal for eight. I'm kindof freaking our about the whole Portuguese thing. Have you ever looked at a Portuguese phrasebook? It is not exactly what I thought it'd be. Between the two of us, Rob and I have French and Spanish down -- at least well enough to travel. But I recently realized that the last time I was some place where I didn't speak any of the language at all was 1996 when I went to Italy for spring break to visit my then-boyfriend who was studying abroad. One day I was on my own for lunch while he was in class and I was so nervous about not knowing a word of Italian that I'm pretty sure I just went without food for the afternoon.

In hindsight I know how silly that was, but my lack of language-risky trips since then can't just be a coincidence (Mexico three times, France twice, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, the Bahamas, living in London). Clearly I'm playing it safe. I just hate butchering languages. I feel like I'm disrespecting an entire culture. Even when I lived in London for a year and obviously spoke the language, I felt like my American accent was disrespectful. So I'm nervous about saying anything Portuguese. We have a phrasebook. I think I'll be able to get "yes" "no" "thank you" and "I don't speak Portuguese" down before we get there. But even those little things are unfamiliar in such a new way. I hope that at the very least I figure out how to say "thank you" well.

Despite the language anxiety, I can't wait for the vacation. I've been reading our new guidebooks and our trip is quickly evolving from a chilled out, relaxing tour into a sightseeing-packed race through the streets of Lisbon and Porto. There's so much I want to see and do! And I hope that this trip takes away a little of my silly worries about going somewhere where I don't speak the language. After all, Rob and I have India on our list of places we want to visit in the next couple years! Not to mention Greece, Eastern Europe, and half a dozen other countries in Asia. I think I need to just get over myself.

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