April 2018

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Foreign Languages

My Mac has a cold and blacks out from time to time, so I took her to the Mac Genius Bar for a check-up today. (I wonder if those guys have a business card with "Genius" as their job title. That would be excellent!)

The nice genius who helped me explained what he was doing, and sometimes asked my permission to proceed. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I always looked earnest and nodded (my school days look.)

Yesterday in another incident of computer speak, I sat in the university's commons, across from a very cute, dimpled white boy who had Eagle Scout written all over him. He was tutoring a young woman sitting next to him who spoke with a strong Chinese accent, but as they were both speaking computer, they communicated effortlessly, it seemed.

"Is that in the documents folder?" she asked him.

He looked stymied. "There is no documents folder in Echo," he finally said. "Documents are Directories in Echo."

"Oooh," she said.

I thought, "I have no idea what they're talking about."

She asked, "Can you put the CV in the PT?" (Or something like that. I may the letters wrong since they were speaking Computer, a language foreign to me.)

He said, "In Shadow you can do that, but not in Echo."


I thought about the myth of Echo, the lovely nymph whom Zeus fancied and Hera punished by allowing her only to repeat what others said. I also guessed that these two, faces illuminated by their matching MacBook Airs, would not be interested in the story.

For today's appointment at the "Genius Bar", I awaited my genius, and as I waited, I wondered if it were intimidating to work under a big sign that says, "Genius Bar."

When I left my genius, I waited in the sun in front of Victoria's Secret and called a cab.

An older Sikh man with a long white beard, giant gold-rimmed glasses and a turban stepped out to help me into his cab. As we drove away, he asked with his strong Indian accent, "Victoria's Secret. What kind of shopping is that?"

I felt that I had to explain that I had not been shopping there and said, "I was not shopping there. It's for women's undergarments."

He laughed and banged the steering wheel and said, "I saw a woman in no clothes [a mannequin, I'm guessing] , and I thought to myself, 'What kind of store must that be?'"

We both laughed and talked about where we are from, and he asked, "Are you here with your husband?"

"No," I said, "No husband."

"Oh, I am sorry," he said.

"I'm not," I replied more quickly than I intended to. "I don't want a husband."

"We are human, and we are meant to be loved," he said. "Man, woman, it doesn't matter. I believe that's what God thinks."

"Yes," I thought, "in this we both speak Seattlese."

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