Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Super powers

Everyone has a special super power. My special power is punctuality. I am able to deflect the forces of punctuality. If it's really really important, I'll be there on time, but, then again, I've never really got over that extreme reluctance to get on the school bus in the morning (not to mention duvet separation anxiety).
But I have a perfectly good excuse. I'm actually using a Hermione Grainger-style time machine to fit in all the super-woman tasks and studying that I do. It's hardly surprising there's a little glitch every so often. Plus there's always a drowning squirrel to be rescued at the last minute. Nothing to do with the fact that I have to check my bag twice or three times to make sure that I remembered both mobile phone and cash card. Nor that I may be known on occasion to run back into the flat and check that I really did turn the gas off ...

Car guy's special power is communication with motorized vehicles. When, for example, I go back to the car to fetch a book I left on the passenger seat, I take the key, disable the alarm, unlock the passenger door, take the book, shut the door and lock it and reset the alarm. Not a peep. When Car Guy so much as raises an eyebrow at the vehicle, the alarm goes off and the entire neighbourhood is roused. Dogs start to howl at the moon. Babies wake up and begin to bawl. In Sri Lanka. Tremors start at the San Andreas fault line.

I think it likes him.

On Saturday I had the dream-like (koszmar would be an appropriate lexeme in this context) experience of interpreting from Polish... I trotted along to French class at the school only to find, to my horror, that they were going to interpret into French. Not from English then? No.
- Actually it's really good practice to interpret from a language you don't understand; said Car Guy, sort of crumbling my confidence in the entire profession in one fell swoop.
When I was at uni in the UK, we were taught to wait until you understand something before starting to speak. I waited. I waited a little longer. Finally I snatched up one or two words I understood and made up what I hoped was a plausible sentence around them.

This kind of improvisational power will be invaluable to me if I ever fall into the hands of the Colombian police or qualify as a barrister.

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