Small Victories

Learning a foreign language is a beautiful, frustrating, surprising, time-consuming, delightful, never-ending process.  I've walked from a Czech lesson feeling like I can conquer the Czech language only to then walk into the post office and have them use some new phrase I've never heard before.  I have conversations where I feel like I'm making myself understood and then suddenly feel my brain crash as three people around me suddenly start conversing about a topic I haven't got a vocabulary for. As much as I can make myself understood in shops, small talk, and train stations, there are other registers and phrases to learn.

Fear of not being able to express myself has slowed some processes (such as scheduling any sort of health appointment or opening a savings account).  In order to conquer these fears or in order to get up the gusto to just try to engage in these areas, small communication victories are important.

At this moment, I should be preparing for my Czech lesson tomorrow, and I was . . . then I thought of a Czech graded reader I'd like to order.  Actually, I did order it last week, only to realize that I'd chosen an incorrect mailing option, causing me to navigate through the Czech website for contact, then causing me to compose an email in Czech, in which I explained that I'd selected the wrong ordering/retrieving method and that I wanted to change it.  They replied (in Czech) that I couldn't change my order, but I could cancel it.  That sent me navigating the Czech website again, before composing another email (in Czech) requesting to cancel the order.  No reply.

Well, today I looked at my online banking (another Czech website), and saw the charge for the online order as well as the refund of the order.  So, depending on how you count it, there are some Czech victories to be seen.

Success 1: I ordered a book through a Czech website.
Failure 1: I chose the wrong mailing method.
Success 2: I asked a question in a way that was understood and understood the reply.
Success 3: I successfully composed/communicated that I wanted to cancel my book order.

3:1--not too shabby, but now it's time for round 2, in which I (hopefully) order the book online successfully.


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