Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gentlemen,... don't start

A small woman in a red car beckoned me while I was with China on her beauty walk this morning.

"Kin soup?", she asked.  At least I think that's what she asked.  

"Wha?", I replied

"Kin soup?", she said once again. Aha, I was right.  Using my super powers of translation, I correctly translated this to

"Excuse me.  You look like a friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful person.  Can you please tell me how to get to King Soopers (supermarket)?"

The gears in my head began to spin.  I calculated that there were, in fact, three King Soopers equidistant from the exact spot we were at.  As I contemplated which one would be easiest to direct the small woman to, she interjected

"Dry lice?"

Oh!  Well, this threw an entirely different wrench into the situation.  I adeptly translated to 

"I'm actually looking for the driver's license place.  I was told it was near King Soopers".

There is no DMV anywhere near any of the equidistant King Soopers.  There is, however, a nearby DMV located in an Albertsons (another supermarket) shopping center.  I then attempted to direct the small woman there.

"YOU  NEED  TO  GO  TO  ALBERTSONS!",  I shouted, because we all know that shouting the English language makes it more understandable to those who aren't fluent.  

I continued on with directions to Albertsons, all the while gesticulating exaggeratedly.


All the while, the small woman was mirroring my gesticulations - etching it all into her brain.  

"There's a DRIVER'S  LICENSE  PLACE there!".   

To which she replied, "Thank you so much.  Enjoy the walk with your beautiful and patient dog", or close enough.  I honestly didn't have much confidence in the outcome.

What made the whole thing kind of eerie, though, was that I was thinking of the DMV just prior to this exchange.  I need to make plans to go there for Wolfgang to get his license.  

He's had all of his required driving, etc. completed for a quite a while, we just hadn't gotten around to his driving test.  We finally did that yesterday, now we must go to the loathsome DMV.  

HE thinks he will borrow our cars willy nilly to go have good times with the buddies.  WE think he will mainly be Meego's chauffeur and resident gopher, thereby filling Chaco's recently vacated exalted position.  

Either way, we must first deal with the DMV.  The one near AL BERT SONS!  can't accomodate us either. No, we must go to the sleazy one for new dry lice.  

I need motivation.


  1. I have a little lady story too, but mine was a guy, in a red truck. I may have to tell it sometime.
    There's only one reason why we let our kids get their license right away, and that's so we'd have someone to run errands and run kids around. We're counting the days til our 3rd boy gets his. We've had to drive more times than we prefer as our other drivers are busy with school and work. :/
    The NO stickers are a brilliant idea!

    1. Please share the little lady but a guy in a red car that was a truck story. Maybe I won't feel so futile?

  2. Now that poor woman is desperately searching for canned soup and fried rice at the DMV. Maybe you shouldn't try to be so helpful, Abs.

  3. I gave an old car to a Middle Eastern immigrant a few years ago. He was a single father of two (his wife died) and a professional, but because he could barely speak English, his job situation was challenging and blue collar. Anyway, when I gave him the title and tried to tell him to "sign" it, my arms and hands were flailing away as I loudly e-nun-ci-a-ted the instructions. He got a strange look on his face and finally the other woman with us told me, basically, to calm down. I still laugh when I think of it. It was probably one of his first experiences with a loud, don't-know-her-place American woman. He was very thankful though.

    Child number two getting a license! Good for you! I'm still working with #1. License should be in hand this fall. :)

    1. I don't know why we think saying non-understood words louder makes them understood. It's not the first time I've done that, though. Good luck with license #1! This will be my fourth DMV tour in less than a year and a half :(

  4. I'm afraid to say that I think I've almost turned son #2 off driving. I need to use entirely different methods when teaching him than with son #1. It's hard to be a driving instructor, but it must be done, because, like you we need another chauffeur/gopher person who has a 'dry lice'. Hilarious.

    I have had lots of experience with Asian tourists at the tulip festival. And when I'm running I often get asked for directions - it is often as you say!

    1. Funny how kids from the same family can be so different. I don't enjoy giving driving lessons, but yes, it must be done.

  5. You oughta patent those tach & speedo upgrades!

    The insurance guy actually used the words "brace for impact" when I inquired about putting putting Son #1 on the policy yesterday. Seems like only yesterday I was stuffing him into a car seat.....

    1. The insurance "impact" is part of what spawned the new roof. Make them pay for something! Wasn't the car seat yesterday?

  6. I am terrible for trying to help like that - I have a compulsion to make sure that people get to the right places, even if they only understand 5 words of English!

    1. Oh, I know. I felt like just hopping in her car, dog and all, and driving her there myself.