April 21, 2006

Learn German — You Never Know When It'll Come In Handy

A few weeks ago, Tom Umberg, our local State Assemblyman, was going door to door in our neighborhood. Ostensibly, he was just getting to know the folks in his district and handing out informational pamphlets on the services that his office could provide; realistically, I'm sure he was out walking around because in a few months he'll be running for the State Senate district that also covers our neighborhood.

At our house, the person who opened the door happened to be me. After shaking my hand and saying a little bit about his pamphlet, he noticed the Ich wohne auch hier (I live here too!) sign mounted next to our front door and asked "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?"

We then proceeded to have a little mini-conversation in German — yes, yes, we had lived and worked in Hamburg; he had learned a little German from his grandmother (who was from Switzerland), although he had forgotten most of it — but now he could practice with the governor! Sehr schön! (And to his credit, he was successfully using and understanding the present perfect tense, which is far better than I'd have been doing if I had spontaneously dug up German that I'd learned from my grandmother years ago.)

And I thought that was the end of it — but the next week we got a follow-up letter, and signed at the bottom was this:

... now that's relationship management! I don't care if he's running against the reincarnation of Mother Teresa — Tom Umberg's got my vote!

Posted by Kevin at April 21, 2006 08:41 AM
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