Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Language To The Rescue



London, 1998


We jogged in the park across from the hostel every day. My girlfriend and I did, mostly in the evenings after getting back from work. As usual that day we started out around five, did the three milers around the park and decided to crash in the lush green grass of the park instead of returning back right away. The weather was too good to spent indoors anyway.

We gurgled down some water and gossiped, about family and friends, cultures. Time flew, we hardly realized, dusk was closing in and there was a slight chill in the air. That’s when we noticed him, the tall dark man who approached us with a purpose. Bells rang in my ears, “Uh-uh! We should’ve left sooner …” I barely had time to catch Anne’s eyes before he stopped right beside us. I knew the same thoughts were running through her head but we didn’t get a chance to discuss escape, so we just had to make it up as we went. After all, we were together, thank goodness!

His attention was all for my friend Anne, his intention was clear as he said “I think we have met, did you go to University….” Anne’s face turned blank, she replied in very polite tones, in Dutch, a language I couldn’t make heads or tails of!
“Oh you don’t speak English…” he said.
More gibberish from her when I realized where she was going with this. That spelt trouble for me initially, esp. since his eyes turned to me.
“She doesn’t understand what I am saying, what is she saying…?” he asked.
I schooled my face to appear poker and decided to play Anne’s game! I spoke in my native tongue, Indian and hoped against hope that he wouldn’t figure that I had spoken a totally different language from Anne.

Fortunately, luck was on our side. He imagined we were talking the same language, though to me they sounded miles apart. He looked back and forth between us, tried a few more lines “You girls don’t understand one bit of English…” By now we were enjoying our little game and gestured to him and talked between ourselves in non-English!

Of course he was at a loss and walked away pulling his hair, well not exactly, but pretty close! We took the opportunity to race home hearts thudding in unison. Once we got there, we couldn’t wait to hear what the other had said!


We cried in harmony “What did you say ?” in English of course!
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In response to the prompt from 3WW
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21 comments:

myrtle beached whale said...

Really good story. Language has many uses.

TC said...

I've always wanted to do something like that, but the only other language I speak is Spanish, and too many people know that!

tumblewords said...

Clever and cute! Great idea, you girls had...

WriterKat said...

Fun story! Thank God for our girlfriends. We get each other out of tight spots.

Truefaith1963 said...

HAHAHA!! Great story.
Don't you just love cheesey chat-up lines?
So, anyway, you're a Virgo, right?

keith hillman said...

You wicked girls!!! Very funny though.

Whitesnake said...

AHHHH! Yes the art of deception!

;-)

Redness said...

The bamboozling of women pevails again - fabulous story, Well Done!

Christine said...

He must have been completely confused!

At first I thought something terrible was going to happen. I just saw The Brave One, a movie with Jodie Foster, where a brutal attack takes place in a park. Huge relief!

I'm glad this turned into a harmless prank.
PS No worries about my yoga blog. I haven't been updating it too much, anyway. I've been too busy teaching yoga! But thanks for your interest.

lissa said...

I thought danger might be coming but it was all turn around. Nice read.

Marja said...

Hilarious. We spoke german to a group of boys ones just for fun. They caught us out when we stood next to the road with a broken moped. They didn't stop to help to have us on too. They did return to help

noahthegreat said...

Playing with minds is fun!

Lea said...

This was great!!! Oh what can happen like minds speak the same language that sounds oh so different...

qualcosa di bello said...

what a great story!

Heather Kathleen said...

P.E.R.F.E.C.T.
and there should have been a video!!

paisley said...

UL... this was too funny... i hope it was real... i would love to have been privy to this scene,, although i doubt i would have been able to keep a straight face!!!!!!

gautami tripathy said...

Isn't it good? I can speak six languages. And I love doing that switching from one to other!

questions

watermaid said...

Great story and very funny too.

pia said...

Really enjoyed the story--have pretended not to understand a word of English. It can be cathartic

Crafty Green Poet said...

that's excellent, very entertaining story, very clever idea.

LittleWing said...

oh geez, that was priceless.. loved the laughter girlfriends share... maybe it was pig latin