Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)
TITLE: Language Difficulties
By Margaret Watson
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We had been told very little before we went to Romania, but two pieces of advice recurred – take your own toilet paper and your own teabags. The former didn’t prove to be a problem, but the latter was a different matter. First of all it caused hilarity to others in the group – why did we want to make tea, what they called black tea, when water, coffee and fruit teas were available?
The crunch came on the last day. We had moved south several hundred miles. Knowing that we were likely to have a long journey to the airport, and then possibly another wait of several hours, my husband decided to take a flask of hot tea with us rather than pay airport prices for iced tea which we expected to be the only kind available. We were staying in a new place where we didn’t know the cook, so John asked her, in what he thought was correct Romanian, if he could make some tea. She just as politely said yes. Only after he had left the kitchen did the hoots of laughter begin, with lots of calling through the window to let everyone in on the joke. Apparently it wasn’t his Romanian words that were at fault, but his Yorkshire accent. The word for tea is ‘Chai’ and the word for dog is ‘Câine’, pronounced Chei in that part of the country. He had asked permission to make a cup of dog.
We got the giggles when we realised, but we weren’t really bothered. We had our tea and it came in very useful in the nearly 5 hour wait as our flight disappeared off the monitors.
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