A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 :::
Easter was early this year, which has had the odd effect of separating the school year almost completely from the catering season. And so A Mind That Suits has had precious few days that go from 7 to midnight. But this week has provided a few of those, so please excuse the intermittent blogging.

When one does not speak a foreign language regularly, one is likely to forget it. As in this morning, when it turned out that the charming older lady sitting next to him on the Metro was Italian. The conversation went along swimmingly until it was time to say "good-bye," when A Mind That Suits had forgotten how to say "arrividerLa." That is the formal form. "Arrividerci" is the more casual form, and means "until we see each other again." Even most Mongolians and Nepalese know that, but A Mind That Suits forgot it at just the right moment. Or wrong moment. Or just when he needed it.

Which reminds him of the time he called an inn at the highest point of most wonderful Assisi, and said that he needed a room for "Monday, Friday, and Saturday," saying "lunedi" when he meant "giovedi" (Thursday.) The obvious confusion led the operator to go find someone who spoke English. A Mind That Suits was slightly miffed, until he realized his mistake. And so everything went along swimmingly until the lady at the other end of the line confirmed his reservation for "18, 19, and..." (she paused while fishing for the word) TWELVE."

This is why patience and good humor are needed when conversing with people who speak other languages. And before you try, hard work. Lots and lots of hard work memorizing stuff.


::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:22 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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