Fancy እንግሊዝኛ

I get home every night with my English-o-meter pointing dangerously low, all beeping and shit. And it is not like I spend the day conversing with a lot of people using a whole lot of words. It seems I go out every morning slinging the same limited number of words into my backpack just like they were my lunch. Most of my statements start with “I think” (Okay okay, we get it. You think. No need to flaunt it now) and end with “so…” not because it is en vogue but out of necessity –I ain’t got the words baby. I can’t seem to replace “No problem” with “You are welcome”, with either one of the rather brash “Yup”, “Sure”, “Uh huh”, “You bet” or an annoyed “Grrrrrrrrrrrr”, DMX style:

When are “Shall I…” and “How’s it going?” going to retire?

So,…

Just kidding 🙂

So, when I am wanting for English, it is usually the old stalwarts of verses of songs or lines from movies that come through for me. Dare I say that’s where I got most of my English from? You can find me reciting verbatim half a bar from an Eminem song in the middle of…

I am chilling with my roommate by the dishwasher. We start discussing his wife’s pregnancy. I want to ask him ስንት ወር እንደሆናት but I am finding difficult to string the words together. Then bam! I spit the line from Stan: “You said your girlfriend is pregnant how far along is she?” I mean not the whole line, but only the latter part. “How far apart are the contractions” had also crossed my mind. But it took a simple down to earth “How many months is she…” from the a la carte menu of words to make my roommate understand.

Lest we miss the point, the point is that it has been three weeks since my roommate got back from a one month Christmas vacation in his home country. It was asinine bordering on the offensive for me to ask how far along his wife was. ሳሚ እንደሚለው “እኛም ኮሪያ ሄደን መጣን ሚስቶቻችንም አርግዘው ጠበቁን” In my eagerness to speak decent English, I had thrown propriety to the wind and forgotten that I shouldn’t  ዝም ብዬ አፌን መክፈት::

An Etyopian professor from another state is going to give a seminar this spring and I want to attend. Only problem is that the seminar series is not ours but of a related department. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem. I have been known to attend cookie- and donutless seminars on far flung topics even during my Etyopia days. Being a Gemini I have the urge to acquire a knowledge that is a mile wide and an inch deep.

ግን ይሉኝታ ያዘኝ:: They would think that I am there just because a fellow countryman is presenting, which is right –I have attended only one of their seminars the whole of last semester. I want to be in the hall with flag and banner:  “እመቤቴ ትርዳህ!” a la the slogan that ቆምጬ አምባው purportedly had የወረዳው ነዋሪዎች saying by way of goodbyes to a visiting higher official “ጉዋድ እገሌን ጊዮርጊስ በሰላም ያግባ!!!ያግባ!!!”

It is always good to see ኢትዮጵያዊ/ት doing his/her thing. Whenever I attend one of the seminars here, it feels like I suddenly fell into a conversation that started ages ago. An Etyopian, setting the agenda for such a conversation, now that will be something.

The theme of my posts has been diverging from the usual የሴት ያለህ! to ወይኔ ትምህርት ከበደኝ!  እርግጥ ነው ትምህርት ከብዶኛል:: This one subject for example has got cool acronyms but is darn difficult. Acronyms like COSY, ROESY (makes me hark back to halcyon and turbulent days), SECSY, TOCSY and NOESY (damn straight, no easy!) Plus the teacher told us that the low hanging fruits have already been plucked and our future endeavors are bound to be far more difficult. And I said to myself, plenty of unplucked yet low hanging fruits where I come from. I intend to pluck the shit out of them.

Be that as it may, I am learning stuff. Who knew DNA was እንደዚህ ጨምላቃ?! Just lyse E Coli and you would see.

And change is good. I will stay on the new theme and have my sperm put into the -80 freezer in the meantime. While on the topic of change, I think When he was talking about change on the pilot episode of Breaking Bad, Walter White may have been referring to his metamorphosis from a humble teacher to a ruthless criminal.

One

ሳምንቱ እንዴት እንዳለፈ

  • I may have spoken too soon when, a few posts back, I commented on how time seems to be flying recently. ያለፈው ሳምንት አላልቅ ብሎ በስንት እግዚኦታ,,, በመደበኛው ጊዜ ሁለት ሳምንት ይወጣው ነበር:: Hump day was the worst. One disaster after another: a couple of screw ups in the electrophoresis front (does cluelessness and clumsiness come with the territory of 1st year of graduate school or is it just me?), a staggering electricity bill (ምጣድ የለኝ ካውያ), the rice that I made for dinner tumbling in its entirety into the sink (ባህር ዳር እያለሁ ቅንጬ የተደፋብኝን አስታወሰኝ:: ሩዙ ጨው በዝቶበት በሙቅ ውሃ ላስተካክለው ስሞክር –salt troubleshooting wisdom from my sister– የማይበጃችሁ ሰይጣን እንዲህ ድፍት ይበል… The world is one. We are brothers and sisters in rice. What makes us different is what we have with the rice), and at least one other bad shit I don’t remember right now. It was a series of unfortunate events. Thursday and Friday were not blemish free either, and like I tried to point out earlier, they were loooooooooooooong. I hope sitting down to write this post at this late hour as the weekend goes “later!” pays off in the future. I would come back to read this and remark either “ስንቱ ታለፈ?!” or “Man, I sure used to have it easy!”
  • Embraced large scale cooking after a long hard consideration. I am no stranger to the concept by the way. Freezing and thawing, taking 10 ml of ወጥ in a graduated cylinder and filling up with water to the 100 ml mark ወዘተ: graduated
  • I have stocked four storage dishes with መኖ:: The permutation of foods that I can feast on is impressive i.e  4 x 3 = 12 i.e if I am open to eating pasta with rice. Right now, almost feeling like this dude:

IMG_20150125_230337181[1]

What if my stockpile goes bad? Antibiotics may probably be harder to come by here than in Etyopia.

  • No longer having to cook every night is expected to free up time to do more reading, starting with The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong and ከእንጦጦ እስከ ባሮ, እስክንድር ቡላቶቪች (ትርጉም በ ዶ/ር ዳኛቸው ከበደ)IMG_20150125_231556096[1]

ለሹሩባና ለጥርስ ብለው ዝሆኖቹን ጨረሷቸው:: And does that mean that an elephant is worth twenty times more than a lion?

  • Conversation about the progress I have been making:

Me “አሁን ለምሳሌ በዚህ ሴሜስተር ብዙዎችን ሰላም ማለት ጀምሪያለሁ…”

GeTere “ሰው በስድስት ወር ውስጥ ገርል ፍሬንድ ይቀይራል አንተ ሰው ሰላም ማለት ጀመርኩ ትላለህ…” 🙂

  • It is a tough job, being a bus driver. You are expected to wave back to fellow drivers and to respond to the “thank you”s of riders getting off.
  • The nurses in the clinic keep asking me if I had been depressed lately. I am asked the same battery of questions whether I am there for a vaccination or to have an ingrown nail removed. I understand that it is standard procedure and that they are being thorough, but still,…

One

five months

That’s how long I have been here. A semester down. They say that the time here goes by fast with all the ሩጫ:: Then I made inquiries as to how time had been behaving back in Etyopia. I have it on good authority እዚያም ለያዥ ለገራዥ እንዳስቸገረ::

ይመቸው! ይሂድ! ጊዜን ጊዜ ይዞት ይሂድ! እኛ ብቻ ጤና!

Next stop -five years.

One

wordpress statistics
%d bloggers like this: