When I went to buy groceries in the farmer's market a couple of days ago, I saw an Indian, Ms. NewToAmerica, buying some vegetables. The okras they had there were not fresh, so she asked one of the guys working there if there were fresh "ladies fingers" inside. From the way she used "ladies fingers" I discovered she had just landed in the US of A. The Syrian guy kept saying sorry twice and made her repeat. She picked up the vegetable and repeated that question. He went in and brought some fresh okras and also picked up the sign-board that had fallen down and the board said "Okra". I threw a "been there done that" smile at her.
The english thats spoken in the US is so different from the english we all grew up learning. It takes a little getting used to. A few months after reaching this country, I had a doctor's appointment at 8 AM. I had to rush to work after that. I got into the lift, I mean elevator, and frantically pressed the button that said "1". The doctor's office was on the 1st floor. The door wouldn't even close and a school kid next to me said "Miss, we are already on the 1st floor". Ouch! there is no ground floor in this country. Ground floor is called the first floor here. Never the one to accept mistakes especially in front of a teenager I managed to say "This is what an early morning appintment does to me. Am sleep-walking, you know". Like she believed me! Not after seeing me dressed so appropriately and meticulously for my new workplace.
We all have a few embarassing moments and then we get used to American, the language. I had many, trust me. What takes the cake is this one.
A few days after I came to this country, I had to attend a party hosted by one of our American friends. There was a huge cake in honour of one of the persons and as the party drew to a close he was made to cut the cake, which appeared to be a cheesecake to me (why do I salivate even as I type that word?!) As the guy was about to cut it, some guys screamed "Cut the cake dude, don't cut the cheese" and a big guffaw followed. I obviously didn't get the joke and thought to myself "Why are these people laughing? I agree its difficult to cut the cake without cutting the upper portion of it, which happens to be cheese but whats so funny? Man! I got to get used to this American sense of humour". I realized from Mr.Me the next day that cutting the cheese means farting. Well.....