Day 465: Lost in translation

peanut_butter_cartoonIt’s difficult enough to ask a stranger for directions when you speak the local language, I can’t imagine trying to do it when you don’t. Oops, I just had a Mexican-vacation flashback … I do know what that’s like.

I was walking home today and noticed a white-haired man coming my way who looked mighty confused. I’m not sure why I looked up at him and caught his eye (I usually walk along staring blankly into space), maybe it was his intense perplexed expression.

As soon as I did catch his eye, he stopped, started pointing all around and repeating the same word over and over in a thick accent. (I think it was Eastern European … ish.) “Supermarket, supermarket, supermarket.”

Then I detected a subtle inflection. “Supermarket? Supermarket? Supermarket?” Aha, the lightbulb went off! He’s looking for the supermarket! (Why do I not work for Interpol, I ask you?)

Amazingly, I had an answer to his question and was able to point and mime the directions to him. (I think I also tried the age-old tourist technique of speaking English to him … only louder.)

He seemed to relax, broke out in a big smile, nodded in thank you and away he went.

I just hope it was still open ….


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