The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stupid Tower of Babel...

I made this joke to one of my colleagues yesterday, and he laughed for about 5 minutes. I told him that this reaction was an improvement over the last time I'd tried to make the joke, which was Saturday night. This information just made him laugh harder. The guy I was talking with on Saturday claims to have read history at University, but apparently either didn't understand me or didn't know what the Tower of Babel was. Granted, I was speaking French on Saturday night and English yesterday, but still. I told my bilingual friend how I'd said it in French and he said it was right. This means that either my French is so bad that no one can understand me, or my jokes are so dorky that not even a history major gets them. Or there's some kind of sense-of-humor barrier. I'm going to say it's a mix of all three.

Anyway, my dorky religion joke and its mixed reactions made me miss my Drury peeps, especially Brock, who so would have gotten it instantly and thought it was cool. (right?)

My apartment is really damp and it's starting to get on my nerves.

Last night I went to Texti (kind of a dollar store) to buy a big pillow for my couch, and lo and behold, what do I stumble upon but Fulla, the Islam-friendly Barbie-doll! I'd read about her in Bitch magazine a few years ago and I was completely excited to see her in the plastic. Basically she's a standard Barbie wearing a head scarf and a really plain, modest dress. I think it's awesome. She was only 3 euro so I totally bought her and now she sits in my apartment and makes me happy.

Last night I read the French WALL-E picture book I bought on my second day here. I understood most of it without having to consult a dictionary much, which was encouraging. The style was very simple, but there were some surprisingly elegant moments, and I'm not sure if this was the result of good juvenile writing or just the fact that it was in French. I think my favorite phrase was "parmi les ├ętoiles," or "among the stars." This was how they described the humans' location in the story. The people are on a spaceship, away from earth, which I think an English writer would usually describe as "out in space," but oh no, the French write "parmi les ├ętoiles." It's things like that which remind me why I wanted to learn this terribly difficult language in the first place.


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