Friday, November 04, 2005

The Sequel is Never as Good

I shot G2 an email inviting him to go to LaHipster's institutionalized Happy Hour downtown tonight. I received the following in return:

I like to go out with you and meet your friends. Unfortunately I am already invitated at my friends place.
May we do go next week

Oh dear. The sad thing is that is probably how all of my emails in German read.

Then G2 came by my desk to personally thank me for the invitation. "No problem," I said. "Also, I can give you my cell phone number. I can't make International calls, but we can send text messages back and forth and make plans that way."

"Well," he said. "I think we can make out right here."

"I'm sorry???" I asked, my eyes growing wide. He looked at me with the shit-eating grin.

"Oh, you think that we can make plans here, in the office?"

"Yes, that is what I meant. It is good that you correct me with my English."

On a positive note, the first day he was here he approached my desk with some American coins. "This is a Quarter?" he asked. I told him yes and that it was worth twenty-five cents. Then I identified a dime and a nickel for him. I told him we also have pennies. "Really? You are having the pennies too??"

I told him, in German, that he should just give all his change to the homeless and then he wouldn't have to bother learning about the denominations. He looked at me and nodded. "Yes, I was thinking that same thing. Really, it is a good idea." Then he gave be a Euro cent for good luck. I think he is a very sweet guy but I am beginning to fear that he will not make it out of this city alive.


Joshua said...

How does this guy function with such low level English? He's doomed. You should be his guide and he can pay you.

gilhouse said...

yes, josh is having the right idea.

Cupcake said...

This reminds me of a tour guide I had in Poland. Instead of saying "please" she would use the gerund as in "It is pleasing to be removing your trash from the bus now."

"Not really," I told her.

I told G2 the other day that the printer we shared was really "crappy".

"What did you say? Trampy? Trappy?"

"Crappy. Like 'crap'."

"Can I say this word or is it too vulgar?" Of course he pronounced it 'wulgar'. This came out of a conversation where I told him that it was not really appropriate to say "bullshit" in the office. Certainly not to the Boss. Somehow he got the idea that "bullshitting" is equivalent to "making a mistake." As in, "please, you must correct me when I am bullshitting."

This is what happens when you learn English from MTV, kids.