I have always prided myself on being good at understanding people. By this I mean that I understand what they’re saying.
To elaborate, I can usually break through unfathomable accents of varying origin, broken English, no English at all, hand gestures and facial movements, and even written material that appears to mean nothing.
So this was a very unusual incident.
The live-in maid, who seems alright (as far as having a stranger sharing the same space as you goes…) today randomly asked me:
‘Ane madam, mata blouse dekak aran dennako…’
(‘madam, can you get me two blouses…’)
Maid: ‘Ane, mata blouse dekak aran dennako Madam’
(‘can you get me two blouses madam?’)
Me: ‘ne, mama e vage dewal denne ne, padiya hambuwenne ekata neda?’
(‘no, I don’t provide such things…you get a salary for that don’t you?’)
Maid: ‘…ah ha ha’
This left me seething; WHAT?!?! She gets paid very well by most standards, plus meals, plus days off and holidays, and loads of free time, and now she asks me for this?? Not one but two, BLOUSES?? BLOUSES? I hardly shop for myself or the kids and she wants me to go out and buy her BLOUSES? TWO BLOUSES??! Her recent bereavement seems to have unhinged her. I thought she was OK, but she really is NOT. I may have considered gifting her some clothes at some point, but definitely not anymore!!
How can I live with this person who wants me to buy her blouses?!
So I consumed the hot lunch she had made with an uncommon chill, while she hovered around (in my then opinion) trying to overcompensate for requesting (previously undiscussed) blouses from her employer.
The day continued, and at some point she approached me tentatively in the kitchen and said:
‘Madam, mama issella illuwe glouse; glouse dekak; madam dannawa ne GLOUSE?’
(‘madam, I earlier asked you for glouse; two glouse; you know GLOUSE?’)
Finally it dawned on me. She was asking me for GLOVES; TWO GLOVES! The audacity to ask for not one but two blouses, suddenly made sense. The nervous hovering earlier was probably because she thought my disproportionate mood change quite alarming, after a very reasonable request for gloves for certain types of housework, and was thinking along the same lines as me…
Apart from this shocking (and unusual) inability to decipher a very common pronunciation dilemma in Sri Lanka, things have been going alright.
On the Lifestyle Change front:
- The kids have been continuously early to school (high five!)
- I’ve been working out every day of the week, including a step aerobics class which I like very much (http://mumsibles.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/lets-take-a-step/), and the yoga class I mentioned, which doesn’t really suit me.
- Progressed to Jillian Michael’s Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi5mdHCN81c); DEATH!
- Dogs washed and all sparkly, gardener and mossie spraying successfully sorted
- Moderate unhealthy eating over weekend, but an active weekend thanks to annual school Family Picnic!
- Changed my hair; it was beginning to resemble a crow’s nest
- Ya-Ya’s sudden night waking, and refusal to go back to sleep without being patted or held (which she has never needed before!) has resulted in sleep deprivation
- Waking up early morning has made a very positive difference in my life
I’m now feeling fitter and stronger in general, but a bit of fine tuning is still needed to improve things; curbing the diet a bit further, and GETTING TO BED EARLIER! With that said, goodnight!