Friday, November 29, 2013

An awkward moment

Living in another culture and language means that I live in a series of awkward moments. Some are small and significant only to me, some scream out so loudly that people a block away sense the awkward and turn away in embarrassment.

Recently we were sharing a car with a friend. He was driving and we were sitting in the back as the radio played. Suddenly he turned to me and asked "What does this song mean Michele? What does this mean?"

The deeply thoughtful lyrics in question were "I'm up all night to get some. She's up all night to get some. They're up all night to get some. We're up all night to get lucky." (repeat twenty more times than you can tolerate)

His eyes in the rear view mirror were serious. He really wanted to know what it meant. (Or he was messing with me, also entirely possible, he's one seriously good actor)

I tried exchanging glances with Leif but he just looked out the window innocently, leaving the English translation to me. The chicken.

So I took a deep breath and tried to explain it without any specifics whatsoever. Which I discovered was impossible.

"They're out know....with friends and meeting new people. Ummmm......well..........." He still looked confused and I was sounding either like an idiot or a prude, that would be a point of view thing. I tried again.

"It's a song about dating. Speed dating."

The eyes in the mirror didn't look convinced. I gave up.

"It's about sex. (big sigh) When you say 'you're getting some' or 'I got lucky' what you're talking about is sex."

The eyes got big so apparently I finally had explained it so he could understand.

You're thinking that was the awkward part, aren't you? You'd be wrong.

The only thing more awkward than translating and explaining song lyrics about sex is doing it next to a fourteen year old girl who is getting top marks in English.

I probably don't even need to tell you how silent the car was for the next several kilometers, do I?

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