A woman believed to be the only Luxembourger who speaks just one language has been found in the north of the country where she claims to have spent the last 80 years living in a cave.
The party of hikers who found the woman on Sunday say she didn’t understand when they addressed her in German, French, and English, but that she was able to communicate in Luxembourgish.
“Her Luxembourgish was rustic but comprehensible, and very charming in a quaint sort of way,” said hike leader Joe Bertocci, who coaxed the woman out of her cave with promises of beer and hot soup.
While the woman sat near the fire the hikers built, she recounted her life in the cave.
“Living underground isn’t that bad,” she told them. “I was even able to create a new breed of potato plants that grow in total darkness, at least I think they’re potatoes and who cares anyway, because I’ve been eating them for eight decades.”
She explained that she went underground when her country was invaded in 1940 because she didn’t like the idea of living under occupation by a foreign regime, and also because she didn’t like her neighbors or anyone in her village that much anyway.
Bertocci says that while the encounter with the elderly Luxembourger began well, it ended in a medical emergency that required her to be medivaced to the CHL in Luxembourg City.
“She asked why we first tried talking to her in German, and I said that’s because we all can speak German now,” said Bertocci. “Unfortunately, before I was able to clarify that most of us also speak French, English, and in my case, Italian, the poor old woman had a heart attack.”