Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cultural Moment of the Week

We have new sewing people at work now, specifically two young ladies in their 20s who are lovely and giggly but are learning quickly and doing good work.  This week I found myself catching a microbus home with them a couple days in a row instead of staying to do my usual lesson with my teacher right after work.  It's always pretty funny catching the microbus anyway, because the drivers can be pretty silly and its just an over all rather sloppy affair with the running and jumping on to the thing, trying to figure out where one is going, fighting over who will pay for the rest of us, etc.  In this case though, between the two girls (who barely speak any English) and our main bilingual assistant is was a complete giggle-fest.  At some point the point was raised that I studied Japanese back in the day for a few years and thus the interrogation in Arabic began about what "izzayak" (how are you?) is in Japanese, how you say "Sabah il Kheir" in Japanese, etc.

It was a total crack-up to be sitting on a microbus, bouncing and bumbling along, listening to overloud Egyptian music, while trying to translate Arabic into English into Japanese.  Seeing the girls smiling and saying, "ohaiyogozaimasu" over and over again to try and get it perfect was pretty great though!  Tomorrow I think I'll tell them that "yalla" is "ikimashou" in Japanese to impress them.

1 comment:

  1. HI Nicole!
    Just wanted to let you know I read your blog whenever I get the chance. I was in Egypt as a "tourist" in June 2003, and went to see some of the shows at Ahlan wa Sahlan. Your blog always reminds me of how much I loved Egypt as well as some of the things I didn't like.
    Shimmy on,