I have no idea what anyone is saying. But it doesn't really matter, I suppose. It's just part of the excitement of living in this part of Chicago. Frequently, when I go into a place of business and need to communicate with someone, it's always a shot in the dark. Thankfully my active imagination and wicked-fast deductive skills help me out every time, and I can usually make do.
I went into a bakery today to inquire after chocolate croissants. After finding someone who spoke English, I came to the conclusion that they did not have any chocolate croissants. Whether or not they made them was a different story.
I went into three restaurants last week and had no idea what anyone said. It was all in a different language. The first was Polish, the second Spanish, the third Chicago. In most cases, if I'm just ordering, I let them make the decisions for me. Usually they format their questions so that I can just nod or shake my head, and they usually frame the series of questions so that they guide me into whatever they want me to order. I'm fine with that.
I have a few examples. In each example I have provided the key word, but that is usually the word that I don't understand, and in my brain is just gobleygook. So, when you read the examples, please insert your own gobleygook. Thank you.
Ordering a burrito:
"You want. Steak right?" Um, yes. (I only found out it was steak after I started eating it.)
"No onions?" Yeah, no. (Unfortunately I did want onions, but the lack of onions made me feel fairly confident that was the word in question. I count that as a victory.)
Ordering ice cream:
"Want Coke?" Um, no? (I have no idea if he said coke. Why would I want a coke with my ice cream? Could there be something else I might have ordered on my ice cream? Like, nuts? Did he say nuts? Was it whipped cream? But it really sounded like coke...)
Half the time I have no idea what I'll end up with. It's kind of exciting.