SAY IT SILENTLY. JUST SAY IT.
Knowledge was exchanged in all three tongues at a Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown. I got what I wanted, dinner was fine, and I didn't actually have a conversation in any of those useful languages.
I am, socially, not exactly functional.
Later today I will quote from Monty Python, and probably The Big Lebowski. At some point I will say something nasty about the current administration. Or many things. After that I will read the lyrics of a Cantonese or Mandarin song on the nearby karaoke prompter, while the person with whom I am having whiskey will gaze enraptured at the other screen where a Buddhist monk with phenomenal eyebrows discourses learnedly about "the way".
In what I presume is Mandarin, judging from the vocabulary scrolling underneath him, but I cannot hear it because the sound is off.
I've said more in typed text today than in speech.
This is not unusual, almost everyone does.
Especially folks with cellphones.
But I take pride in being dysfunctional long before everyone else reached that stage, despite not having a handheld device or a message application. Still got the land line, though the only one who actually talks on the phone is my apartment mate speaking with her boyfriend 'Wheelie Boy'.
Unlike everybody else, they don't use e-mail to whisper sweet nothings into each others eyes. They are old-fashioned anti-socials. No text.
That's good. No incriminating epistles later.
I have spoken to five women and two men.
It's been a good day.
Tomorrow I plan to speak to one more.
Of each gender.
UPDATE AS OF 9:52 A.M. THE NEXT MORNING, JANUARY 25
Yesterday evening the languages were French, English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. The pouty Hunanese woman spent over an hour beating up on the Toishanese fellow who afterwards wonderingly insisted that I was Cantonese. The others had heard me talk in tongues before, and rather minimized his amazement at the transcendent miraculousness.
As did I. People talk. In languages.
The French was minor, both in duration and in quality. The Moroccans also speak fluent English, so it was not even necessary. Sprinkle-can Parmesan might be "fromage-poudre, pour pizza", but I do not know. My French lessons in high school did not discuss Americans ordering pie late at night.
The pizza is mediocre and incidental.
La bonne sauce piquante et douce de Monsieur Tran, Sriracha, ça rend mieux.
The bookseller thinks I eat the pizza to mortify the flesh, and that I do not like it.
He gives me too much credit for sense and taste.
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