i lived in japan. i didn't speak much japanese. i still don't.
but i took lessons. talk about lost in translation.
i also spent time in buenos aires and was like confused 80%
of the time. i tried to learn as much as i could, but i was only
there for 3 months.
humilty, manners, common sense and politeness helps.
it's just funny for me, if you're planning on being an expat
and you don't bother to learn the country's language... your
rights to complain about how things 'don't work' reduces
significantly. i encounter these types of people on a daily
basis here in thailand. learn the language and you might
actually get what you order. if they knew english they
wouldn't be a waiter at a street side food stall.