Friday, January 06, 2006

How to make yourself feel utterly inadequate: a recipe


Portugal (if too expensive or out of season, substitute any other non-English-speaking country with a young, well-educated workforce)
1 Portuguese friend
a dozen friends of Portuguese friend
awkward attempts to speak Portuguese, to taste


Go to Portugal. Stay with Portuguese friend. Who is studying in Paris. And writing her PhD dissertation in English.

Go to dinner with friends of Porguguese friend. Discover that they are all poly-lingual. Realize that, out of table of 9 people, you are the only mono-lingual person. And that they therefore must speak in English. Which is fine, because, in addition to Portuguese, French, Spanish and German, they are all fluent in English.

Go to drugstore, awkwardly ask if they have vaseline lip balm. ("Tem...vaseline?" while self-consciously gesturing at lips.) Have drugstore counter chick say, "We don't have vaseline, but we do have a selection of other lip balms in this tray here" in flawless English. Buy lip balm and slink out.

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