Friday, September 26, 2008

Lost in Translation

-

-
After putting the girls down for a nap, I heard a banging on my back window. I looked through the blinds to find an old woman holding a 2-year old child, and opened the door.

She leaned into me and started talking, a bit frantically, pointing and waving her arms. Unforutnately, the only phrase I understood was "No English."

She kept talking, getting louder and louder, so I motioned for them to come inside. I offered her a pen and paper, hoping she could sketch what she needed, but she shoved them back and me with more "thrlbokthrlbokthrlbok....NO ENGLISH.... thrlbokthrlbokthrlbok....NO ENGLISH."

Now I'm starting to get nervous. Does she need medical attention?

After a few minutes, and against all odds, I'm able to determine that she speaks Farsi. So, I hold up my phone up and say, "I'll find Farsi. I'LL FIND FARSI." (like I know who the heck to call)

I tried a friend who wasn't home (she doesn't speak Farsi anyway), then our apartment management office.

"Housing"
"There's a woman in my apartment who needs some kind of help, and she only speaks Farsi. Do you know of anyone who lives here who speaks Farsi?"
"No."

At this point she's wandering around my place, motioning at things, and I'm close to tears.

Next, I tried praying for the gift of tounges.

Nothing.

After a few more minutes of failed attempts she concluded, I suppose, that I was hopeless, because she collected the 2-year old and left.

I'm now alone and feeling quite defeated, certain that someone is about die as a result of my ignorance.

Then, about 20 minutes later, another knock at the door.

She's back, this time accompanied by a child - about 10-years old - who speaks English. Oh, THANK HEAVENS. I almost throw my arms around the girl.

"This is my grandmother," she says,

And? And? AND...?

"And she wants to buy that princess notebook you had at your garage sale the other day."

?

??

???

????

?????

-

25 comments:

Aileen said...

Imagine if you had, like, called 9-1-1 or something..What a laugh!

Jeannie said...

So comical. The urgency, the desperation... that must have been some notebook!

D'Lonna said...

are you kidding me? That would have been awesome if the police had come to find that out.

Kristin said...

And I thought I lived with crazies... How do you have a garage sale in an apartment complex, anyway?

Kristin said...

Oh, AND, how in the world did you figure out she was speaking Farsi???

Maryann said...

FARSI? Katie, you just moved up on my top 10 ten smartest people I know list.

Dana Mania said...

Phew. At least it was something important. Farsi...whatever...I think you're making that up!

Jane said...

What the hell is Farsi? Once I got past Farsi and how in the WORLD you figured that out, I couldn't stop laughing at the story and how you wrote it.

Lorie said...

Oh my goodness! Seriously! I guess the only way to say Princess in Farsi is to wave your hands around frantically!

I too would love to know how you figured out she spoke Farsi!

Patrice said...

Did I ever tell you that if I were going to be on Cash Cab you are the first person I would choose to be with me? I think the fact you knew she was speaking farsi proves my reasoning.

Julie Knowlton said...

I had to read the story over again once I figured out that Farsi was a language and not the crazy lady's daughter. What country speaks Farsi? Who are these...Farsinians? I am laughing.

Katie and Jeff said...

I still can't believe you let some random lady in you home! In Phoenix I wouldn't have opened the door! You are so brave!

Dawn said...

That must have been some yard sale, people are returning for more.

I can't believe you weren't blessed with the gift of tongues in that moment. What on earth are you doing in your life to prohibit such blessings? (Do I need to have a talk with your mother about you?)

Dawn said...

So Jeff wants to know if you still had the book???

Courtney Vance said...

Katie I'm sorry that I was laughing when you were nearly in tears but the fact that you knew she was speaking Farsi is hilarious. I can't believe you let her roam around your house. She wouldn't of made it past my mace. I think Jack needs to work on your reaction skills.

Leslie said...

I join the ranks of those who marvel at your ability to recognize Farsi. Where do they even speak that?!

Becca said...

Hi Katie! This is Becca (Richard's sister.) Anyway, that was one of the funniest things I have ever read!!! hahaha

Emmers said...

OH MY GOSH! That is so funny! I can't believe it! Seriously, what if you did call for help. HAHAHA! I thought it was freaky that she knocked on your back window! Creepy!

Alison said...

Come on... I thought everyone knew that "thrlbokthrlbokthrlbok" is Farsi for "princess book."

Allen and Amy Waples said...

I agree with Katie D, I would have never let the crazy lady in my house!! But you had good intentions, thinking that she may have needed help...that is a crazy story!!

Aileen said...

In hindsight, the same thing happened to me this summer...only it was in Alton, UT at the chapel there....and it wasn't Farsi....It took me awhile but I finally figured it out...it was A SOUTHERN UTAH ACCENT!!

senategirl said...

This proves that one should never pass up a good shopping deal! Kudos to you for figuring out it was Farsi. I have been baffled how you figured it out! Do tell!

Loralie said...

always a pleasure to read your blog! you definitely keep me entertained. i can totally imagine that happening in fsh too...

Lauri said...

Let's be honest...Farsi? Are you making that up?

And, Lizzy, Doyle, Logan, and Andy said...

This lady is crazy! She lives right across from where I did, and she stole Logans trike and sanded off our address and wrote hers- like I'm not going to know its mine right accross from us! She also had that little girl tell Doyle that he couldn't park his bike on the bike rack because it was her spot- LAME-O! By the way, I took the trike back!

Humpty Dumpty

My dad passed away 16 years ago, but I still consider Father's Day an occasion to celebrate. I plan a favorite dinner and pick out ...