a true language barrier – foreign roommates

The most common living situation for adults is having a roommate. Whether it be the form of a spouse, a friend, or seven friends, it keeps costs down. And I have had some unusual situations.


The summer of 2009 I spent in San Jose, California playing soccer with the FC Gold Pride (yes, thats the real name; and no you can’t make fun of it). I had the awesome opportunity to live with 4 girls during preseason in an apartment while trying to make the team. Once the roster was settled our internationals arrived from Brasil and moved into the apartment.


My roommate Erika (Brazilian superstar), rode down to LA with our athletic trainer to visit friends on our off weekend. She was flying back to make it to practice on time Monday morning. I told her verbally and by email that I would pick her up from the airport.


My Portuguese is not so good

I arrived at the airport within 5 minutes of the scheduled arrival of her flight thinking that it would take several minutes to land, deplane, and walk to the terminal. After driving around twice, I asked my friend that was with me to continue looping while I hopped out and looked for Erika. I love Erika, but she is a very independent person and will make stuff happen when it doesn’t go her way. I searched and waited for a solid 20 min, till my friend insisted on parking and coming in to help me. We asked the very nice gentleman at the desk to see if she made her flight, she did. We called teammates at the apartment complex to see if she caught a cab home, no one answered. We asked if they could page her over the intercom at the airport, which they did… in portuguese, not a normal everyday language for San Jose, CA.

*language barrier*

My sweet roommate did not realize she was being sought after so desperately. She walked straight off the plane and went to the public transport and took the tram home.


It is worth it to be a good roommate and pick him/her up from the airport, but make sure everyone understands