There He Blows!

Today started off like any other day.  I went to the gym for a quick work-out, I did some homework, cleaned the apartment a little, made lunch, etc.  It was raining all day today, which was a nice break from the sweltering past few days we’ve had.  It was just your typical tropical rainy kind of day.  The kind of day where the rain can fall down in sheets, the next minute the sun can be shining through the clouds, and then back to a rain storm again.

These are the kinds of days that I’d normally stay in all day, unless there are errands that absolutely need to be done.  I was just figuring out what to do with my day when Matt asked, “Are you going grocery shopping today?”

“I wasn’t planning on it, but do you need something?”  I replied.

“Nah, not really, I just need eggs and wraps,” he said.

This is code for groceries are desperately needed.  Matt goes through about a dozen eggs a day, and as I glanced in the fridge to see there were only about five left, I knew it was essential that I go.  Plus, I was out of coffee cream, and my day just does not get started off right without it.

So, I put a hoodie on, closed in shoes, and off to the grocery store I went.

I shopped with plenty of elbow room, which was a bonus.

I waited in line, checked out, and had my groceries bagged up within five minutes.

This was a record fast shopping excursion for me.  I was pleased.  Very pleased.

Well, you all know where this story is going right?  Yeah, you know…I mean you have to know.

I cheerfully go outside to wait for the bus that takes me back to campus, and even thought to myself, “What a pleasant day this has been.”

Then, it happened.  I saw the guy who stands outside day in and day out selling mango’s, making his usual rounds and giving each and every other person his schpeel, “I’m the local fruit man, wanna buy some mango’s?”  To which nearly everyone says no, except for the occasional taker.  Today there was a taker.  He made a sale, and was quite jolly.

He went to sit back down on the curb, which is his usual perch and proceeded to eat his lunch out of a Styrofoam container.  All was normal with the universe, that is until he decided to…

Rip a HUMONGOUS fart.  Now this wasn’t any old fart.  This resonated, even outside, it sounded like a fog horn that had trill-like quality to it.  At least four other people turned around to see who had done such a repulsive thing in public…and there he sat…happy as a clam, grinning brightly with his only two teeth.

Did you really just do that? Ugh. So nast.

If that wasn’t enough, he proceeded to then FART AGAIN.  Yes, you heard me right, he actually farted again.  This one was significantly smaller, but still.  Who does that?!

So you see, what started off as any old day, turned into quite a farty old day.

I should have figured.

P.S.  Matt came up with the name for this blog.  Isn’t that cute?

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The Great Joys of Language Barriers…

Has this ever happened to you?

Oh yes, why yes it has, hasn't it?

I am not even kidding, this seriously happens to me at least five or six times a day.  No, I’m not deaf or anything, I just can’t understand what the h anyone is saying around here.  In Grenada, the official language is English, however every day language is laced with French words and the local dialect (similar to Creole) or Patois.  It’s pretty typical for me to get about 30% of what the local Grenadian’s are saying to me, and the other 70% is a total bust.  I usually just end up smiling and nodding, and saying my default line which is, “Wow, that’s crazy.”  <–On a side note, I want to say that this is not intentionally my default line, for instance, I don’t say it on purpose, but I have noticed that I say this whenever I don’t know what else to say.  For instance, if I’m making uncomfortable small talk, and someone says something like, “Wow it’s so hot out today, eh?”  I’ll respond with my uj (usual) “Wow, that’s crazy,” because what the (bleep) else is there to say to that anyway?!

Matt (husband) is even worse with making sense of the language here, but that might also be because he doesn’t exactly get out much <–This due to being the hard-working med student that he is no doubt.  Anyway, so when we go out to dinner on the rare occasion, maybe 2 or 3 times a semester at the most, I feel like I am basically a translator.  Have you ever watched a boxing match, when the winner doesn’t speak a lick of English?  You know how it goes, the interviewer asks a question, then the translator relates it back to the boxer, the boxer answers, translator relates answer back to the interviewer, and so on and so forth.  Well, that is basically what I do when we’re out to dinner, except I am also only getting less than half of what the locals are saying too!  Oh Lordy!  So, overall when ordering at a restaurant, best case scenario is that we end up getting sorta kinda what we meant to order, and worst case scenario is, we end up getting fish when we ordered “lambi,” thinking it was going to be a delicious lamb-chop. <–Yeah, that actually happened.  After the fact, we learned that “lambi” is popular local dish around here, but it is not lamb, it’s a type of conch shell-fish.  I guess it was meant to be, though, because I’ve always had a certain affinity for sweet Lamb-Chop herself, even if she does sing the most annoying song that never ends…yes it goes on and on my friends…

Step away from my Lamb Chop, and no one will get hurt...

The funny thing about the locals here, is that when they’re speaking to one another, they speak so softly that I sometimes have to wonder if they’re even talking at all, or if they’re just moving their lips for kicks.  Along with speaking what sounds like almost an entirely different language, they also speak extremely soft.  Well, I guess compared to me, but I’ve been told I sound like my voice is coming out of a loud-speaker at times…so there’s that…but I seriously have no idea how they hear each other!  The other day I was getting turkey from the deli, and I walked up and said confidently, “A pound and a half of the no-salt turkey, sliced very thin, please.”  Since the locals also have a hard time understanding me as well, I usually take it upon myself to project nice and loud/clearly.  It doesn’t help.  They have no idea what I’m saying whatsoever.  I usually end up having to just point to it in the glass cooler, and accept the fact that my special request of “sliced thinly” is just not going to happen today.  Boo.

Please, just once can you slice my turkey thin? Please kind lady?!

As I mentioned before, I’ve witnessed a local Grenadian ordering an array of deli meats and cheeses, speaking in a tone so softly that I couldn’t even hear the woman, and she was standing right next to me.  I had to restrain myself from doing what my late great Grandpa Barkoff would’ve done, which is to declare extremely loudly, “WHAT WAS THAT YOU SAID????!!!!”  I mean, I wouldn’t have proceeded to ask for a senior citizen discount (which is precisely what G-Pa Barkoff would have done) but seriously the tone was so muffled, I thought I might be having a senior moment!  I totally admire that the locals are not straining their vocal chords, but please for the love, I can’t understand what you’re saying double-fold when I can’t hear you, either!

Oh, the great joys of language barriers…they never cease to amaze me.

I guess I need to just accept the fact that I’m going to be…

On a daily basis.

Oh well.  I guess sometimes you have to just make the best of it, eh?

(P.S. Please don’t respond to that with, “Wow, that’s crazy.”)

~The End

Photos courtesy of IMDB and worldhum.com