I had my first session with a private German tutor. The classes just didn't work for me.
Although I have studied German before, I completely forgot essentially all of the grammar. My tutor and I decided it would probably be best to start from the beginning in order to relearn the grammar, although we will likely move very quickly for the first few sessions.
She gave me the titles for a couple of books for our lessons. They are the standard Beginning German books plus one on the fundamentals of German grammar.
Yesterday afternoon I went to a bookstore in Zürich to purchase them. I approached the information desk on the first floor with my carefully written list of titles, authors and publishers.
"Haben Sie diese Bücher?" I asked.
The woman glanced at the titles before launching into a stream of rapid-fire German. I caught a couple of words, but most of it was completely lost.
Noticing my blank stare, she pointed at the escalator and said, very slowly, "Kundendienst auf erste Stock." (Customer service on first floor)
So I went upstairs and found the area with the language books. I went to the nearby information desk, handed the woman my list and said, "Haben Sie diese Bücher?"
She looked them up on the computer. Then she also launched into a rapid-fire stream of German, spoken so quickly I hadn't a chance of understanding. I suspect she was giving me directions because she also pointed across the room.
Noting my obvious lack of comprehension, she walked over to a shelf, got the books and handed them to me.
Here's what I do not understand. Did neither of the women notice the requested titles were entry-level German?