Wednesday, 2 January 2008
At my local supermarket, items such as toiletries or stationery are situated in separate areas with their own dedicated cash desks. A pain in the neck, if you ask me, because it means extra queuing (don't worry, I'll tackle the issue of German "queues" at a later date). Whenever I buy something in the toiletries (& cosmetics) section in particular - e.g. toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, shower gel - I thank the woman at the cash till and, by way of bidding farewell, say either "tschüß", "adje/ade" (like adieu but pronounced in the local manner), "auf Wiedersehen" or even "uf Widerluege" - though I only say the latter if the sun is shining and I've a skip in my step and feel like a native. Why does the woman then always insist on saying something different? For example, I say adje one day and she counters with tschüß. The next time, I say tschüß but she reverts to adje. Then the third time, I try to be more formal and say auf Wiedersehen and get an uf Widerluege in return. This is what dialect does to people, I suspect.
Posted by Simon Jones at 2.1.08