Pizzaman: Hello, are you American?
Emily: (smiles) Yes.
Pizzaman: Ahhh. (nods) How big are you? (note: in German, there's only one word which means both big and tall)
Emily: 185 cm
Pizzaman: (eyes widen) Wow! That's really big! What do you do here?
Emily: I work at the university. I'm a scientist. A chemist. (note: I mean, I'm in the chemistry department, and explaining more is beyond my abilities)
Pizzaman: And how long have you been here?
Emily: Almost one year.
Pizzaman: How much longer will you stay?
Emily: One more year.
Pizzaman: And then you'll go back to America?
Emily: (shrugs) I think. But I don't really know.
Pizzaman: (laughs) Maybe you'll meet a man, and then you'll stay in Germany.
Emily: (hesitant) Perhaps...
Pizzaman: Everything's clear. (goes back to making pizzas).
The point of this post is threefold. First, the fact that a German made small talk with me is fascinating enough for me to write a blog about it. In all fairness, I would guess that the man was of Turkish descent, so he may not have been a German citizen. Second, I need to point out that it's taken a year for me to get to the point where my German is good enough to have this conversation. And third, if you are German and should ever journey to the U.S., you should never ever ask a woman how big she is. This is considered rude. I'm not sure about that man comment. If the guy hadn't been old I might have thought he was hitting on me. But German rules for flirting continue to escape me, so it's difficult to tell.