Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Day in the Life - Buying String

The random musicians who come by the house playing for money!
One of my "teachers" who loves playing school at home!

The other "teacher", they are really into these maps right now!!

The subject of todays post, the string; the hat is just to fly the colors since football season is almost upon us.........well, not us but for those of you in the US!!:)
Yesterday, we were on a mission. Barry and I decided that while we had time before the kids were out of school, we would try to find the string Campbell needs for a "mobile" book report. Now, let me say that for all the times I hated going to Wal-Mart to get needed items, I never fully appreciated being able to find most items I needed at one location. It is a me on this one!! :)

We walk up and down the crowded street, and although we have passed a few stores with office supply items, we cannot find string. Finally we go into a store that looks like having string might be a possibility. We go up to the counter and, using our handy electronic dictionary, ask for "tali". Seems simple enough, so the man behind the counter nods and leaves to enter the back room. When he emerges he is holding a rather large spool of Raffia! Uh....."lebih kecil" we say (more small). He again nods and comes back with a large spool of nylon cord similar to a shoestring....and it is bright red!! By this time we are furiously typing into the little dictionary all kinds of words that we might could use to explain what it is we wish to buy. At the same time the man has disappeared and reemerged with a smaller spool of nylon cord, it felt and looked like the material you would use to make tassels. In fact it felt just like the tassels that were hanging from our living room curtains when I was a child.......although it was not gold in color!:)

Barry has now come up with the word for cotton, "katun". Believing this word will be the key to finding what we want we proudly announce, "Kami mau tali katun." (we want cotton string) A girl then ducks down behind the counter and emerges guessed it......string!! We nod our approval and they kind of just smile and nod adding up our total while we are standing there feeling proud of this great accomplishment.

However the story does not end there. Today we are in class and like every day we have to stand up and tell our experiences from the day before in our new language. It's my turn. I stand up , tell how many people from Machiatto that I spoke with and begin to recount my day. When I get to the part about buying string, my Pelatih says, "Apa kata tali?", kind of like "what are you saying?". So I then use English to explain, he nods and I go on. After we are done then he goes to the board to make any corrections that might be necessary and, it's always necessary!

He says, "bukan tali, tali is rope", so I asked him what would I say for string, that was all I had in my dictionary! To which he replies, "Apa kata untuk (the word for) string is.......STRING!! Can you even believe it?? The people at that store must have cracked up at us!! I laughed so hard because.......who knew? Obviously not us!! Just a reminder of how you really have to be able to laugh at yourself and just keep trying, eventually you'll get it! You just have to talk like a two year old until then!! :) So next time you go to buy a random item and you are blessed enough to know right where to go to get it (and how to say it!), thank the CEO for just another simple but huge blessing in your life!

1 comment:

Rocky said...

I think that Bob Stoops should coach ping pong.