mardi 25 novembre 2008

Ma femme préferée est un homme

"Do they speak Japanese in Korea?" This was the particularly stupid and insensitive question asked by the German teacher last night of Kwang Min, my study partner.

I think she was hoping that he would say "No, in Korea people speak Korean". It's a bit of a classic language learning thing, I guess - ask something that you know is incorrect in order to get the student to give the correct answer.

Alas, the teacher was no doubt ignorant of the fact that Korea was occupied by Japan for the first half of the 20th century, during which time the Japanese banned the Korean language and forced their 'subjects' to speak Japanese. It'd be like me asking her "are there Jewish people in Germany?". Red rag to a bull. Insensitive. Unnecessary.

Anyway, beyond this the German class is going well. Unfortunately I'm sandwiched between Kwang Min and Juliette - the girl who seems to have no idea of where she is or why she is there most of the time. A typical quote from her would be:

Teacher : "Juliette, what time do you start work in the morning?"

Juliette : "I enjoy shopping, listening to music and talking to my friends".

Truly, this is how it goes with her. To make matters worse I am sat opposite Pierre-Yves who just looks at me and laughs whenever she does this. P-Y is cute, with his boyband hair and his bobo chic thing going on. But his making me laugh is getting me some stern looks from teacher. I like it.

At break time, we seem to naturally split up into boys and girls. As per usual, the girls get to look moodily at each other, circling like siamese fighting fish waiting to go in for the kill. The boys chat, relaxed and easy with each other. Usually we talk football. I've started googling football stories before class so that I can keep up.

Anyway, last night Teacher took us down the "are you married" line of questioning. Even me, with my lack of sensibility, would realise that this is a road paved with disaster.

She looks me in the eye. "Are you married?"

"No. I am not married. I am single".

"Are you looking for a french wife?".

"No. I am looking for a husband".

"The word is wife. You are husband, she is wife".

"Yes, I understand. But I am looking for a husband. Ich bin schwul".

And as the gasp of shock rose from the audience (yeah, right) I outed myself in yet another language.

I have to wonder how many more times in my life I need to do this.

Should I just have it printed on a t-shirt?

29 commentaires:

Anthony a dit…

Haha! Classic! WOuld have loved to seen the look on her face. But are you sure they didn't know already ..... ;-)

conortje a dit…

It's exhausting - but well done you for already knowing all the words to say in German - I'm well proud of you.

Valleys Mam a dit…

so next time just wear those high heels :>)
So much more of a statement than a T shirt

alan a dit…

hehehe Brilliant. You managed to demonstrate that school days never seem to die.. and I had a nasty night of dreams about that last night. :-(

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Anthony, who knows. I was holding my own (so to speak) in the fottball conversations...maybe the fact that I didn't talk about how dreamy Thierry Henry is helped!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Big C, exhausting indeed. And really, she should have known better. But hey, c'est la vie.

VM, if I could walk in them I would. Must keep practising....

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Alan - it never dies, it never goes away. If only I'd been brave enough to say that at school though. Now that would have been something!

CawfeeGuy a dit…

"Should I just have it printed on a t-shirt"

OMG YES! in all the languages you can think of! fabulous idea!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CG - I actually think those t-shirts exist. I'm not sure I should wear one to class though.

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

She obviously doesn't have a gaydar. Next time, wear a village people t-shirt? ;)

red a dit…

My friend's Italian teacher did the exact same thing to him- the teacher was so mortified after it was almost worth it. I quite like the fact that people's innate convictions ("no, your partner is a woman you have to say she") get slowly exposedd, and hopefully chipped away- your teacher (and his) will never make that assumption again.
Sorry if it made you squirm though.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Marjolein, sounds like a good idea to me! Very subtle....

Red, I fear she'll make the same assumption over and over again...oh well. The lady's not for changing.

aims a dit…

Googling football just cracked me up! Only you sweetie!

As for outing yourself - oh how I would have loved to have been there!

Now darling. A little hint. Start with pumps and practise practise. Then go for the stilettos. You'll wobble a bit at first...but I think you already do.

cb a dit…

Du bist "warm" too. I think "warm" is slang for gay too.

But how awesome that you totally got to Gestapo-slap the teacher like that!!

G

Brills!!

Daisy a dit…

Ha! Man that woman was on a roll there- is she German? I'm sure there are a fair few insensitive questions you could fire back at her either way!

Lane a dit…

Love it! And yes a multi-lingual t-shirt would be good:-)

And poor Juliette. Was is she looking for?:-)

12ontheinside a dit…

A t shirt is a great idea. Something with just symbols would be best, so that it can be understood in any language. The mind boggles at what particular symbol arrangement to use...

tornwordo a dit…

The same thing happens to me but it's no biggie, "Tu veux dire québecoise, Richard." "Non je veux dire québecois."

I love the description of the girls behaviour.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims, I'll give it a go. Now to find them on my size....

CB - oh yeah baby - she was G-slapped alright!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Daisy - she is German. I'm working on my questions for next week, trust me!

Lane - lord knows what that girl is after. She doesn't, that's for sure...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

12oti - the mind boggles indeed....maybe the 'it's only love' t-shirt is the way forward...

Torny, I get that in french too - the addition of the unwanted 'e' .....

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) a dit…

Oh it does become boring having to correct small minded ignorance, but often they make good fodder for a bit of a laugh like this.

Greg a dit…

You could always tattoo it across your forehead. But even then, you'd still have to explain it.

conortje a dit…

actually I've just remembered that I had the very same thing in the one Dutch course I did. I kept talking about mijn vriend and he would continually ask me questions about my vriendin. I never said anything to him - just ploughed along knowing I was right.

Louise a dit…

Note to self: Don't eat while reading TBNIL. I just aspirated a piece of strawberry cupcake. It was VERY unattractive.

You google football stories so you can keep up with the guy talk???? Does this reall interest you? Or is it just the guys that interest you. This is where we may be the most (whatever!) different. If I am not interested in something, I cannot pretend to be no matter what. And I certainly don't care enough to take time to be interested. (You are probably a lot more popular with your peers than I am!)

Juliette needs to go home... or shopping. Her parents probably have her there for some reason that she hasn't figured out.

Although I think a multi-lingual t-shirt is hilarious, the situations created by the questions are much more amusing.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Rob, where would we be without this kind of thing eh? oh yes, in a world of harmony and love, he he

Greg, you are right - even then it would need explaining....

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Conortje, sometimes ploughing through is the best way. it certainly avoids any kind of confrontational nastiness.

Louise, I do it because it means I can talk to the boys rather than do the 'evil staring exercise' that the girls do at break time.

I used to work for a chain of car workshops and every monday I'd call my friend in the office so that he could give me footie anecdotes to use with the mechanics as I roamed from site to site...so I'm an old hand at it really...

Daryl a dit…

Oh .. I think a tee shirt, a very chic one is in order and I am making it my business to find or design one for you ..

Between you and me I love giving honest answers to tackless questions . the other person's reaction is almost always well worth it

:-Daryl

travelling, but not in love a dit…

D - exactly, don't ask the question if you don't want an honest answer...