Vices we love: March 2006

Sunday, March 19, 2006

English..German...same-same, nu?

Just suppose that you are a heart surgeon, a possibility we discussed not very long ago. And suppose that you are told that you have a two hour procedure coming up in an hour. And suppose that you prepare as best you can and enter the operating room to find that it has been converted to a vet's office and you are asked to help in removing the wisdom tooth of an iguana. Not very realistic, true, but if I were a heart surgeon I probably wouldn't have time to blog. Or my blog would be way different. It would probably have pictures of hearts and stuff.

Anyway, in my case I entered with a one hour notice to find....German students. Sweet, well-behaved, non arm-hair pulling German students, but still, you know...German students. German is not a well-liked language in the Asiatown household and I never learned it. (I gave Russian a try but nowdays think that Spanish and Mandarin Chinese would suit me better. And a bit of Polish may help.) Stubborn in my insistance that a teacher should, like know the subject (an insistance that kept me from applying as a Chemistry teacher in Beijing despite the eye-popping salary), I gamely tried my hand at the Queen's English as filtered through east-European/New York/Southern/Southwestern linguistics. It didn't take and we got to the point where one of the students called up her German roomate, desperate for help. And you know what she said?

I am a jelly doughnut

That's what.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

happy anniversary

What a long strange trip it has been. We started off in the Hermit Kingdom and are now in a multicultural beacon of prosperity and goodwill to all men. Really.

Or, as J.D. might say "three continents, four countries and the only thing that's different is the size of the bribes I have to pay." Or something to that effect.

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