Yesterday I did my mile in 11 minutes.  Pre-return-to-America goal: 10 minute mile.

The bugs are coming back for summer so we lift around fly covered strips of fly paper.  The flies like to sit in our pools of sweat and resist attempts to shake them off.  Yesterday, someone I’ve seen around who must be somehow affiliated with the upkeep of this facility, beckoned to me through the open window, pointed at the strips of fly paper and said what I presume to be the word for “fly.”

This is one of those moments of cross-cultural mis-communication that I think are actually a function of our languages. In Korean the noun comes before the verb, and when they want to tell me something, Koreans are constantly throwing nouns at me, in English and in Korean, as though the object will reveal to me the action.  But I hear the object and wait patiently for some kind of “therefore” and a verb that never comes.  The flies are there?  The flies gross you out?  For the love of Pete, what about the flies?

It took the high school shot puter to come up with a more useful word: “outside.” So everyone went outside while the man fumigated. And I’m thinking, it would have been better to say “Come outside” in a full Korean sentence than to point at fly strips.  Or just count on me to follow everyone else as they flee the noxious fumes.

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