The Importance of Communication - or, 'How to Retrieve Missing Underwear'

As a Brit abroad, it's very easy to be lazy on the language front.

Yes, in many countries around the world people do speak English, and as a result you may well be tempted to get by with the bare minimum - 'yes', 'no', 'beer please' and 'I don't speak [insert relevant language]'. Along with a little creative miming, when necessary.

But an incident the other day was a great example of why you shouldn't rely on this approach - when I went to collect my laundry from the local laundrette and discovered that my underwear was missing.

The nice lady behind the counter didn't speak English, I couldn't explain the problem in Spanish, and as the queue behind me grew so my enthusiasm for miming the missing items diminished.

Of course, in addition to the 'avoiding embarrassment' argument, there are a few other reasons to learn some of the local lingo as well, such as showing respect to the country you're visiting, and gaining a better understanding of the nation's history and culture.

So, here's the latest podcast - featuring my brief stint as a non-Spanish speaker on a local radio station and my experience at a local language school, all in the name of communication!

(And getting pants back.)