Wednesday, May 6, 2009

communication

the indonesians are fantastic communicators.
pak tri, how many people will be attending my training (i have been asking this for weeks via email, and the response has always been "a couple")

"oh, you know, we have a number of people who would like to learn how to use satellite imagery"
so how many?
"we have interested people from Sumatra, Borneo"
can you give me a number? maybe between 2 and 5?
"i think i will join you as well "
and so i give up. i tripled a couple to 6, but it turns out it's 9.

so we start our day, people are chatting, talking on the phone, i'm trying to get us started on time.
"we cannot get started without aurelie!"
i am aurelie
"aurelie is a man"
no i'm not
"yes, you are a woman, but aurelie is a man's name"
really? well i am not indonesian
"but we are in indonesia" [huge smile]
fine, you win.

1 comment:

ryevrah said...

Reminds me of the way Aboriginals (Australia) express time. "A little long time" is one of their translations into English. We just need to slow down and adapt. It's another universe. As one character said in *where the Green Ants Dream*: "You white people are lost."