Monday, June 20, 2005


The acid test of any language course is when the necessity for speaking it slaps you in the face like The Girlfriend You Forgot You Had after you stupidly decided to flirt with The (Younger) Girl from Ipanema. Or Tuscany. Or Sienna.

The foreign partners decided to stop by the office and there was no one on hand to greet them but me. It's pretty safe to say that most of my three-or-so months of language training flew out the window. There were awkward silences on the parts of all parties punctuated by a palpable desire (you could feel it in the air) to reach out and communicate.

Happily there was a modicum of cross-comprehension as one of them could speak some Tagalog and I could speak some Japanese.

I recalled an old college joke about the Japanese language student who could only (proudly) tell everyone else that he was a book. I'm very glad that guy wasn't me.