Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lost in translation......

I haven't mentioned Eunice on my blog much, although I did post about her briefly in this post. Eunice is Impi's mother. My relationship with Eunice defies description. She is part mother, part older sister, part friend. In every way that matters, I am closer to Eunice than I am to my actual mother. We love each other deeply and care for each other in so many ways, big and small. I know that Eunicie prays for me and my family every single day, without fail, and I carry that knowledge in my heart always. She is just the most wonderful, wise, gracious lady.

It's such a strange set-up because although Eunice and I are as close (in some cases closer!) as family, I am also her employer 2 days a week, but we don't let this get in the way of our friendship ;-)

What's even stranger is that neither Eunice nor I are fluent in each others language. Far from it. We get by by talking this sort of pidgin Zulu that I am quite fluent in! 9 times out of 10 we do just fine, we can talk, joke, gossip and commiserate quite comfortably in a language that just about nobody else understands!

But sometimes, like today, our language lets us down. A short while ago Eunice came to tell me a little tip that she had picked up from a friend - I know this now, but at the time I had no idea what she was telling me! She said what I understood to be "you must get some shock for your cupboards" Huh?? I asked her to repeat herself and she said it again. I confessed that I was lost. And so it continued. It ended up with us laughing rather hysterically, me miming a person getting an electric shock and Eunice moving her hand all over the wall..... Finally the penny dropped!!! Chalk, she was talking about chalk!

Apparently if you put a couple of sticks of chalk in your cupboard it removes any damp that may be lurking in there.


Simply-Mel said...

Your relationship with Eunice sounds like mine with Sheila. She is like my big sister. I love her dearly and would be lost without her.

As my kids get bigger we have more time to hang out and chat. People dont get our relationship at all. But I think you would.

Ordinarylife said...

The relationships we have with the people who work in our houses is very interesting and sometimes quiet entertaining!

Simone said...

that brings back a lot of memories.
I can totally relate. Sometimes I was scared of upsetting Ida than my own mother. Luckily my mother is fluent in Zulu so if Ida and I got to the point that we could not understand each other - my mom could come home and sort it out.

When she would complain about going in out - up and down - she would "F and down" which sounded like swearing to shocked ears.
and for brand new she would say "bloody new"

Jeanne said...

Priceless! It reminds me of my mom's friend who received a call at work one day from her cleaning lady to say "I'm sorry, the yellow bed is dead". She racked her brains for a yellow bedspread of duvet in the house but could not think what she meant.

When the mom in question got home, she discovered that the canary had died.

angel said...

teehee... makes me think of one of my clients who kept telling me she was seeing an "arrow" on her screen when she tried to perform a particular task! it took 3 phone calls and two visits to her office to realise it was an "error"!

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