Hidden away in a drawer in my kitchen is a stack of user manuals for all the appliances in the apartment–those that came with the apartment, and those for the devices we’ve since purchased. The pile is 22 cm high (that’s about 8 1/2 inches for us metric illiterates!) because they contain at least 10 languages each. Wading through those pages, hoping/praying the very next page will contain English words, is a gamble. Then, just when you think you’re on the road to using that dishwasher, you see the words, “BEFORE FIRST USE: FILL THE SALT CONTAINER.”

I love salt. I fill my salt shaker often– I sprinkle salt on my eggs, my vegetables, my potatoes…all before taking my prescription for high blood pressure. But in my DISHWASHER? A (hopefully) new friend commented the other day, “On moving here, I felt like every competency I’d ever had disappeared.” She expressed just how I’ve been feeling–cooking, cleaning, shopping, talking, driving–everything I’d done well less than 2 months ago is now a lesson in humility. Determining what kind of salt, where to buy it, where to stick it (I know where I’d like to stick it, Mr. Engineer who designed this dishwasher!) and how often is just as tricky for me weighing and labeling my produce at DelHaize, determining how vigorously Mark and I pursue interaction at church, and practicing a phone call to a restaurant asking “reservation pour deux, s’il vous plait.”

So now what? Will we let the language paralyze us as we navigate life here in Luxembourg or will we gear up on  practicing with Duo Lingo–after all, I am 5 percent fluent in French! Will we stay in our cozy apartment and ignore the culture around us, or will we have a 200 Euro fish dinner and get stuck in a parking garage (really–more on that later).  Nope, my next challenge is finding microwave popcorn I can fix in my newest appliance. The good thing is, I can season it generously with salt!

5 thoughts on “Salt and Light

  1. After the first three days of school… I soo need this laugh. Please I am not laughing at you but with you . I miss you so much dear friend. Keep the blog going I love to hear about you and mark and all the new adventures!😘


  2. Loved reading this Diana. You can’t make this stuff up. LOL
    Cool microwave with the dials, but at least you can enjoy your coffee black and HOT!



  3. Feeling your joy and your frustration but you have such a great sense of humor! Keep it up. As always, we are praying for you!


  4. Your friend’s statement really hits the nail on the head!! I had to have a metric conversion chart to operate the oven once I figured out which buttons and knobs did what. And who ever heard of a deposit for using a grocery cart before? (Now we see it in every Aldi).


  5. So, is the salt for water softener in that amazing machine, Diana? Lol!
    You have so many adventures in store there…praying that all will make you show that wonderful smile as you sprinkle salt each day. Thanks for today’s post – I enjoy your blog!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s