After spending a couple of months in non-English speaking countries, there’s something oddly comforting about removing that struggle.

Can I just say how amazing it is to be able to read a menu?  Because it’s amazing.  And being able to ask for stuff without having to worry about being understood?  The best.

Not that it’s all that difficult to get around as an English speaker in Europe; a surprising number of people speak at least a little bit of English.  This varies from country to country — in Italy, it can be a bit of a challenge outside of the touristy areas, but in places like Austria and Sweden, practically everyone speaks English.

Still, you can never assume that someone can speak English, and whether or not you’ll be understood is always a question mark.

It took a few days to wrap my head around the fact that I didn’t have to worry about that anymore.  In my first couple of days here, there’d be times where I wanted to order something, and I’d think “Oh man, how am I going to ask for it, though?”  Then I’d remember: I can just use my words.  And they’ll understand them.  Delightful.

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