Language

I have always been interested in foreign languages. In the second year of school, a few kids were picked out to learn some German as we were ahead of the class and they wanted to give us something to challenge us.

I did well at French in three years at high school, but it was German that I chose to carry into senior high and I ended up doing four years of that.

Later, with my girlfriend at the time I started visiting Switzerland to visit her aunt who had moved there. This opened my eyes and ears even more to language, as they spoke a strange dialect of German.

I went to live in Bavaria, taking advantage of the new regulations allowing me to draw unemployment while in any EU country. I quickly learned to speak German fluently, and when the three months of unemployment ran out I got a job at a McDonalds in Rosenheim.

One of my fondest memories learning languages was on my Interrail trip, on a train in Lithuania going to the capital Vilnius with a group of American backpackers I had met in Poland. We spent a long time with a young girl, the only English speaker in our carriage, learning some of the basics of Lithuanian from her so we could be polite when we got to the capital. It was 1994 and not many books had been written about this country or the language so this was pioneer stuff.

In 2008 I started a job at Booking.com, where I was able to work in a multilingual environment, using my German knowledge, but also my experience of learning other tongues. I miss the constant contact with other languages. If there was another position in GR where I would have such contact I would jump at the chance.