Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not a Prescriptive Grammar but a Consistent One

My head goes in three different directions as I listen to the Germans in Happy Hour. They've been here for three days. Trying to talk with them, I find it all but impossible to construct in their language, coming out with Chinese instead. Later, in a different part of Five Colour City, I meet someone from the South. She speaks Cantonese, runs some of it by me as a contrast to Mandarin. For some reason, though it's gotta be—what?—way past 2 a.m. by now, two customers are sitting at the bar with water and an open book in front of them. They're studying Korean, and it's easier to talk to them in that language than it was to talk to the Germans in theirs. As the sun comes up—at 4, can you believe?—I'm one of the few still awake, and I'm giggling like a mad person. I really don't understand much.

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