Linguistic Justice League
Then there are those nights like last night. Even though I know I’ve got work to do, deadlines to meet, and a general distaste for spending money ever since the automat (money machine) ate my already broken card; I drag myself out on the town.
It was the scholarly-masseuse’s birthday, she who is helping me reverse the onset of anything carply-tunnely. Yet another wonderfully great friend born within a few days of me, so I wasn’t about to miss this chance to toast her happy birf-day, shower her with hugs, and flirt with her cutey friends. (I bet the guys are cute too, Im just crap judge in that department.)
And so somewhere in the dark alleys of Centrum, where bikes are stolen, junkies get high, and tourists start to reconsider how charming they thought Amsterdam was, I joined in a gathering of some of the most international internationals in town. Which prompted that familiar feeling, like I’m in the Justice League of Language-Speakers. (NERD WAIVER: I don’t know all that much about DC Comics)
Each member of the Justice League of Language Speakers specializes in one or two languages with which to save the world and stop evil do-ers. We also speak 2 or 3 on the side, just for fun, cause even the JL of LS needs to kick back sometimes, y’know? Come to think of it, the old Justice League didn’t have many women.. sexist bastards. Anywho – we’ve got lots.
So at last night’s meeting I started by engaging in english discussions with the scholarly masseuse’s Italian boyfriend, occasionally falling into an Italian aside with a good looking third party, a language which I can understand just fine. (hey.. I’ve been in the league for awhile now) The masseuse herself comes over to join us frequently, to drink a toast and have some laughs. She must be our leader, Austrian by nationality, her languages are primarily German, Dutch, and Italian… but with me it’s english and I’m sure on some nights she dabbles in Spanish or French just for cheap thrills. As the night grows longer, I observe other superheros in their conversations about this Jarmusch film – Coffee and Cigarettes, all taking place in Dutch, although many of them aren’t. I haven’t seen the film so I stayed out, plus I was too busy admiring this collection of linguists. What a moment.. sitting in what could be the key to world piece: Booze and People who talk alot in multiple languages. And of course the icing on the cake, the lovely one I’ve been making pretend shy eye contact with all night comes over. Her secret power, why she is from somewhere between La Paz and Sucre, but with a Dutch parent – so Dutch and Spanish will save the day. A long conversation with her and this pretend superhero was ready to hop on his wire-donkey (bicycle) and head home. That was enough boozing and world saving for one day.
In keeping with the multi-tongued theme of this blog, courtesey of Le Monde, I’ve adopted a few French blogs like: Europe Pour ou Contre and Il y a des questions, and I’ll be reading them on a daily basis until I get bored. Which could be in 48 hours.
Let me not forget to mention that A Line in the Sand, live from Iraq, is back. For those of you who are new here, that’s Chris Missick’s blog. He and I are polar opposites in terms of politics, but in terms of liking discussions and good music, we’re blog pals. For those who can stomach it, he met Rummy this week. (sorry Chris, I obviously don’t dig him, but I enjoyed the pics)
Today’s Sounds: Mates of State – Team Boo (the CD im soon to copy from Aim.)