Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Field Trip

This afternoon one of my instructors took me on a field trip to a shopping plaza that had several Indian stores to practice speaking Nepali about everyday things. I give my instructor brownie points for trying to do something different. But this was just painful.

I am anti-social. I don't do small talk. So you'll understand why 2 hours of chit chat in Nepali was excruciating.

In the Indian grocery store:

Instructor: Heatherji, look at all the different kinds of food. This store is very different from Giant, isn't it?

Me: Oh yes, what a large variety of food. It is very different from Giant.

Instructor: Look at these vegetables? Do you like green onions?

Me: Of course I like green onions.

At the Indian book store:

Instructor: Look, Heatherji, there are many books about the Hindu religion.

Me: I found a few books about Buddha.

Instructor: Look, here is a Nepali-English dictionary.

Me: How nice. But it is very expensive.

You get the idea. Meaningless small talk in English is annoying. Meaningless small talk in another language is brutal. The best part was trying some Samosa Chaat in a small Indian cafe. Yum!


Shannon said...

Sounds like pure torture, well except for the samosas.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

Forgot to change the link in the disclaimer. Sorry here is the corrected version.

It’s Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

Here is the link:

(If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)


Mary Alexander said...

Some potential conversation starters for next time:

"Do you sell a Nepali translation of 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking?'"

"I saw a movie with Keanu Reeves playing Buddha and he was all skinny, but then when I go to Benihana my Mai Tai comes in a fat Buddha mug. Please explain."

"Is there a plan to rid Katmandu of the pervasive infestation of hippies leftover from the 60s, or are you just waiting for them to die out?"

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I’m writing from the team that manages INTERNational Connections, a State Department career networking site for Department interns and employees. We’d love to feature some content from your blog on as it provides some valuable insight into the steps towards joining the State Department and life as a Department employee. If you’re interested in letting use some of your posts, please contact us at ASAP for more information. Thanks!