Friday, October 3, 2008

Been to

Well, the Indian use of English is not quite as fractured as the examples at, in fact the Indian vernacular is often quite elegant. The funny thing about it for us is that it just seems so antiquated. Its almost like steeping back in time 100 years. We received this email from a hotel in Mumbai today as a response to a booking query. Here it is..


With reference to your email, we wish to state that we can offer 1 Double roo with twin beds Or with single large bed as well. we charge Rs. 220/-+10% tax for extra mattress for extra person.

The total cost of your stay will be approxemetely Rs.2904/- excluding breakfast.

1 double room for 1 night = Rs.2420/- inclusive of tax
2 extra mattress = Rs.484/- inclusive of tax

If I close my eyes, I can see the Peter Sellers style finger pointing in the air combined with the head wiggle that is used for a variety of purposes. And this is a very mild example. We promise to post more extreme examples as we stumble upon them. Readers of this blog are also encouraged to email us back if my own grammar is in need of correction! My wife isn't always looking over my shoulder to fulfill that function. It is with great affection for the culture that I draw your attention to these little linguistic foibles. Anyone who has ever heard me attempt to speak French can attest to the fact that I am no cultural supremacist. My friend Christophe nearly shoots foie gras out of his nose when I try to ask him to pass the salt in French....
As an update to the octopus adventure, I took an entire tentacle to Miles' grade 3 class today, as I was invited for show and tell to retell the tale. I brought some ponzu sauce, and a cutting board and knife, and after grossing out a good portion of the class by waving the tentacle around (we also got a picture of Miles with the tentacle hanging off of his face like the dude from Pirates of The Caribbean. I pray no Disney lawyers read this...), I sliced up little bits and invited the class up for a dip and a slice. Some liked it, some were disgusted, but nearly everyone gave it a shot. A few girls hung around for thirds and fourths! I freaked out one little guy by suddenly shaking the tentacle and yellin "IT"S STILL ALIVE!!!!!". He jumped about a foot in the air and then fell over backwards, much to the class' delight. I must be evil... Much fun. Poor Miles, though. I can hear the recess talk already. "Your parents are WEIRD!"

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