Thursday 6 August 2009

Naked at the Chilean dentist

Shhhhh don’t tell anyone but today is Thankful Friday…

…for me anyway.

Tomorrow, I have the day off! Yippee!!!!!!!

Anyway, last night Snowboarding Boy and I met up with an old uni mate called Scruffy. He got that name because he used to be quite erm… scruffy. But nowadays he’s really quite neat.

He moved to Canada over four years ago, and now lives there with his girlfriend, Trilingual Girl – she speaks French, Spanish and English, all fluently you know!

Also joining us were The Parisians – who live in Paris and were over visiting, too.

Mrs Parisian is actually from Mexico, and where I was having trouble following the conversation because I couldn’t hear, she was having trouble because English isn’t her first language.

First of all the conversation veered off on a tangent about how amazing Chilean dentists are at removing wisdom teeth, and then we hit a topic about a massage that Scruffy had in Chile, while there with Trilingual Girl, which involved the masseuse stripping him naked.

Apparently, this particular masseuse only strips the men, which I think poor Scruff found a bit traumatic – the women, he leaves clothed.

So this conversation was flying around when all of a sudden Mrs Parisian piped up, ‘The dentist did this?’

*cue hysterical laughter

She’d been sat there horrified, thinking that Chilean dentists strip you naked before they get to work.

Erm… then I really would be afraid of going.

Realising that hilarious mishaps don’t just happen to deaf people reminded me of something NikNak once told me. She said that she finally realised what it must be like for a deaf person in a group situation when she moved to France for a year.

She said it was so tiring following what was going on, that she preferred to lead the conversation so she knew where it was going, and regularly didn’t catch things. And she’s so right – that’s exactly what it’s like.

I wonder what it would be like for me to try and get by in a foreign country and learn the language. Would I get double the amount of misunderstandings? Would I learn to lipread it?

Maybe I should find out just for a little while one day…

somewhere warm and sunny…

*has a little daydream

if only for a holiday…

one day.


SpeakUp Librarian said...

Quite the blog post title, there.

I have at various times tried learning Spanish which is pretty funny considering my current situation. A couple years of ago I met someone from Mexico who had been in the United States only a short while and wanted to learn English. I told her I wanted to learn more Spanish so the two of us tried helping each other out using bilingual children's books from our public library.

We had some pretty hilarious conversations. I remember being quite stuck once when she was referred to a "blondie". Eventually I figured out she was saying a blender. I could actually understand her better in Spanish than in English, ha, ha. For example the word butter when you only hear the consonant sounds could be lots of different words. But in Spanish it's mantequilla which is pretty distinct - at least in my limited vocabulary.

Anonymous said...

You get better and better!

The hairy Parisien said...

Great story! You're right about the language difficulties. When I first moved to France I understood about 10-20% of the conversation,and then invented the rest to amuse myself. Sometimes I got it right, but most of the time my stories were more amusing...
hugs, Mr Parisien.

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