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Being a foreigner: harder than it looks

weasel crossing

Uncle B and I were out grocery shopping today and I noticed something I guess I’m going to have to get used to. At the sound of my foreign accent, people start and turn to look at me (if nothing else, that tells you how far out of London we are).

It’s not so bad; when they realize what they just did, most people give me a sheepish smile.

I work with a man who is missing the littlest two fingers of his right hand. I didn’t know it until I shook his hand and then — it was completely involuntary — I started and stared down at our handshake. It felt so indefinably…wrong. He must get tired of that look, day after day. Me, I just get grinned at.

Many and high-larious are the zany miscommunications between Weasel and Badger. Like this here thing. The sign up there. It was part of my Christmas loot.

B: It’s Chinese, I guess.
S: What?
B: Weasel zhing.
S: You’re pulling my leg, right?
B: Well, I thought it might be pronounced Weasel ching, but I looked up all the variations I could think of and didn’t find it.

He thought it was a slogan, like “grrl power” or “ban the bomb” or “weasels rule, badgers drool.” Poor bastard; he’ll buy me anything with a weasel on it. Most of which seems to come from California.

For the record, they spell it out here: Crossing. It’s all part of their “use more stuff than strictly necessary on signage” campaign. Way Out for Exit. Give Way for Yield.

sock it to me

December 27, 2007 — 7:41 pm
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