Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Speaking Vietnamese

Without a doubt, my biggest regret during my time out here is that I haven't even come close to being able to speak Vietnamese. I've tried to learn but clearly haven't tried hard enough. However, not being able to speak Vietnamese makes for some funny stories. Or I should say, having a limited Vietnamese vocabulary makes for some funny stories.

Case in point: For a couple of weeks I would go to this cafe near my house to write. The owner there is very friendly and would always smile at me whenever I came in. However, I haven't been back to the cafe recently because I've just been too busy. The other night, Huyen and I were walking back from dinner and passed the cafe. The owner was outside and smiled at me and gave me a look as if to say, "Where have you been?". In response, I said "Nhieu day." I sad this because nhieu means "a lot" and day means "teaching." I was trying to say that I've been teaching a lot. However, I inverted the words and pronounced "day" as "dai" with an up tone. This resulted in Huyen cracking up. I asked her what I said and she replied, "A lot of testicles."

Well, at least the owner now thinks I've got more than two balls. I guess that's as good of a reason as any for not drinking more coffee.