I have to tell you a funny story about the toilet vs. closet language challenge I had! I am American and married to a man from Lithuania, Benas. Years ago, the first time he took me to meet his parents, it was one disaster after another!
I know some of you just asked, “Where in the world is Lithuania?” Here is a map 🙂 You’re welcome.
Okay, now that’s out of the way and we all know where I am, I have to tell you I was not so sure I would be invited back!
Benas and I land in Lietuva (Lithuanian for Lithuania. Cool, eh?) Mind you, I speak ZERO Lithuanian. We dropped our bags and headed to his brother’s house for the first family meet and greet. His parents had driven two hours from Jonisks, his hometown, into the capital of Vilnius.
We meet, smile, and shake hands. Then, my boyfriend decides to leave and go somewhere. He left me and his mother sitting there, staring at each other, over a cup of coffee. She spoke no English and we just sat there staring at each other! After 30+ minutes of staring, his mother started to teach me the names of rooms in Lithuanian – the kitchen, bedroom, closet, etc. The flat we were in was not very big, and I really have to use the bathroom, but we had gone through the whole house and there was no toilet. I saw a tub, a sink, but no toilet. Now I am thinking, “Okay, maybe it’s in the hallway. You know, like a shared bathroom.”
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Benas came home. I see his mom take him to the kitchen looking very concerned and whispering to him. That wonderful boyfriend of mine comes over to me and says, “Hey, my mom is worried that you wont eat or drink anything. Are you okay?” I, of course, told him that there was no toilet and I had to pee like really bad. He laughed at me, and laughed, and laughed, and said something in Lithuanian and then everyone laughed. I just stood there having to pee not thinking any of this was funny at all! He proceeds to point to a little skinny door next to the bedroom and says that is the toilet. I, who had just learned all the rooms and their names from his mother, told him, “No, smarty. That is the closet! I can’t pee in the closet!”
So, between his fits of laughter, he explained to me the word for toilet! Interestingly enough, the word for toilet in Lithuanian is “klozetas” (pronounced “closeta”). Who knew?! So, after he opened the door and I finally went to the klozetas, I found much more humor in the situation. Needless to say, this was only the beginning of my wonderful baskets life in multiple countries, with multiple languages, and multiples issues to come!
By the way, I took home shirts that had the map of Lithuanian on them so when people asked me where it was I could just point! Come on, you probably didn’t know where it was either! 🙂
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more stories about our crazy Baskets Life!