Misunderstandings due to communication flaws are something I think I have written about a huge number of times before. But new examples of the same seem to come up almost every day. It can be some serious one, that can be life threatening, or it can be the smaller more innocent misunderstandings. On Friday I came across one that was just quite sweet.
Some Indian friends have been in Norway for more than a year now. One of the first things they did here was to join for a trip on a snowmobile. Everyone who has driven a car or anything knows that if you drive with high speed with windows down it feels cooler than it is, due to the wind speed. Even in the streets of Mumbai. So if it is already like -10, and you sit without any shelter, like car windows, roof and such, how do you think it will be? I can tell you. Extremely cold! So when people rent out snowmobiles, they usually also come with some special warm clothes included. This is what they call a full pack and no one even think it can be different.
This is what you get if you ONLY rent a “full pack” of skiing equipment
My Indian friends plan to go skiing soon. As they don’t have any ski equipment with them in Norway, they plan to rent. One of them asked a Norwegian friend what would be included when renting skis. The answer was: “You will get a full pack”. But is a full pack the same when going on a snowmobile as it is when skiing? Does a Norwegian and an Indian have the same idea about what a full pack is? No! When you rent skis what is considered a full pack is only skis, boots and sticks. Period! Nothing like thermal warm clothes or anything like that.
All ready for snowmobile!
Luckily I heard this story, so I could tell my Indian friends that they had to bring clothes on their own, and could not expect to get this as part of a full pack when renting skis.
This is just such a simple example on how even the most basic phrases can be misunderstood. As I’m Norwegian, it was quite easy for me to resolve the misunderstanding. After all, it was based on different understandings on something Norwegian. Did I ever do the same kind of misunderstandings while in India? The bed maker story is the one that always come to my mind when I think about misunderstandings. But I’m quite sure there must be more. It’s just that as I’m not Indian, I was not able to fully understand how I misunderstood Indians…
Talk to you soon!