Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ahem! or Lost in Translation

It's been 6 days since I last blogged, and it feels like I'm starting blogging from scratch all over again. In fact, my very first post over 3 years ago seemed to have come off much more easily. Otherwise, I would have never stuck to it for this long. Anyway, it has been a long week. Longer than usual, and longer than I expected. A combined total of about 9 hours of talking about an important topic in two days has left me with a scratchy throat, which I believe may leave me voiceless over the next few days.

Scratchy throats aside, I have a story to share. It seemed funny at that time, and hopefully by the time I'm done, it will still be funny. This story relates to one of the three day sessions with our foreign advisers on the unavoidable 10 year project the other day.

Bearing in mind the need to be punctual when dealing with these foreign people who shake their heads (contemptuously - if I may say so myself) at our so called "Malaysian time", I practically ran downstairs with a file that weighed almost 2 kgs and an assortment of other things. As I entered the discussion room, I noticed that everyone else except for me and another person was there. I put down my file, walkie-talkie, and diary on the table and sat, and the person on my left handed me a box (of what seemed like to be a box of cookies with a foreign label) and a marker pen and requested me to sign it.

I took it and signed it without much ado although I thought it was weird and handed the box to the adviser who looked at our little signatures on the box. He caught the attention of the translator, and said something to her a tad bit too quickly for me to understand. She then stood up and caught our attention by saying "Ladies and gentlemen" in her highly pitched voice and informed us that we were not meant to sign on the box, instead he had told her to look at the box and check out the ingredients and see if we could eat it (some of the members of our 10 year project are from a certain religion that prohibits the ingestion of certain types of food and the checking of the label was for their benefit) and she had mistakenly given the instructions to us in the first place.

Of course everyone laughed at this silly mistake of hers, but what amazes me is the fact that we all just quietly signed the box without asking any questions although it seemed weird.

4 comments:

  1. That is actually very amusing. I could just imagine it now. Very lulzy.

    Lost in translation, indeed.

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  2. And it is good to have you back, my dear. You go missing again and you know I'll find you..that sounded less creepy and threatening in my head.

    Nothing to see here..moving right along!

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  3. Lol! I'm glad you think it's amusing, although no one was particularly amused with the translator at that moment.

    As for my disappearance, it was not intentional, as I had some connection issues. I think I suffered from some mild form of internet withdrawal syndrome those few days :)

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  4. I figured as much considering all the internets troubles you been having lately. And trust me, I know exactly what you mean re: withdrawal. A few years back I lost access to the internets and didn't sleep properly for a week; it has become such an integral part of my life. The only time I think I could be away from the internets is when I start travelling and even then I would need to check my mail, blog and FB every few days.

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