Being a foreigner
So, as you guys probably know. I am Danish.. living in the UK. I love Denmark, it is a great country to be from! We are such a small country and with a population at only 5.7 million people, you can almost say we are a small family. If one Dane does something great almost the entire country is cheering them on.
Say, if a Danish singer suddenly does great in Europe, the Danish people feel like they are doing great in Europe 🙂 If a Danish person is travelling in, let’s say Italy and they hear someone else speak Danish, they would immediately make contact and probably ending up having dinner together.
I love my country, I love the people and I love the support I have been given from people who don’t even know me. It is such a warm feeling having strangers writing to you, cheering you on and telling you that you’re doing a good job <3
There are a lot of challenges with being a foreigner. In the beginning, the biggest one was to learn everthing I knew about cars, in a new language. I could speak English when I moved here but learning technical English is almost an entire other language. Let me give you an example. When I first moved here and started working for Arden, one of my co-workers told me that he just got a new vernier (It is a measuring tool) but in my head I was convinced it was a STD. It just sounds like it, right? “Damn it, the doctor said I have a vernier” .. I kept my distance for a couple of days before I realised that all of the guys had verniers and that it wasnt a sexual transmitted diseases but a tool. Dumb blond!
Then the next challenge was to speak English and to speak and learn technical English, an entire day. My jaw was so sore!! At the end of a working day, my tongue was all swollen and I had trouble speaking English. Someone could ask me a question and even-though I thought the answer in English, my tongue would just give up and I ended up answering in Danish; With no control over it! Also.. I felt so stupid at work. In Danish I know all the technical words I need in order to build a car but in English I only know a couple and Jesus, spending 10 min trying to explain to your boss what tool you are after, is not really optimal and you just end up feeling so stupid!! I am getting there slowly but even now I am still struggling with some words. Especially when its late or I’m stressed, I end up sounding like an idiot. Today driving home from the track I tried to explain to the guys that I got some new shoes, not just shoes but “gummistøvler”. My explaination was “You know the shoes you can put on and jump in a lake thats not a lake but kinda like a lake thats round and made from the rain, on a road” It’s sound so stupid writing it, but when you are thinking technical English all day long trying to remember procedures and technical assemblies, “gummistøvler” is not really a word thats on the first road in your memory. To my English readers, the word I was trying to remember was “rubber boots” and the “lake” was a “puddle”/”Vandpyt”.
One thing is to struggle speaking correct English in an understandable accent but the hardest part is when the people you work with, lose paticence and simply removed their attention somewhere else!! You just end up feeling hopeless.
And then… there is the fact that you are away from your family and friends. This year I will be travelling 180-200 days in 21 countries. If something happens at home, I can’t be there. Today, in a mixed feeling of jetlag, from travelling from Bahrain to China, exhausted about doing a doubbleheader, homesick and a phone call about my grandpa being at the hospital I found my self sitting at a sushi restaurant alone, crying over my sushi and japanese beer. And guess what, there was only two other group of people in the restaurant, Niko Hulkenberg with his friend on one table and Grosjean and his friend at another table.. and me, sobbing like a little girl over my stupid sushi. Yup.. not very cool! Eventhough I absolutely love my job and I feel so lucky for being able to work with what I love and travel the world at the same time, sometimes you just need to vent. There is so much going on all the time, concentrating for 12-20 hours a day in a language thats not your mother tongue, jetlag, homesick, tiredness. It can be alot.. but then you take a bath, a deep breath and before you know it you find yourself on the grid just before the race start and an overwhelming feeling of happiness hits you and youre back to feeling absolutely blessed to be just where you are.
Keep smiling x