Monday, July 16, 2012

Lost in Translation

Every summer, my mom flies to Poland for 6-8 weeks to visit family. My dad, like me, is terrified of flying so he stays behind and lives like a bachelor in his man cave. Which is almost unfurnished other than Pink Floyd and Janis Joplin posters. I like to pop by once in a while to make sure he's doing okay. He'll never admit that he's lonely, but I know he's secretly happy to see me. He takes full advantage of these visits and forces me to either call any company that might have overcharged him for a service (cable, insurance, etc.) or help him pronounce whatever words he's been having problems with that particular week. It's important to note here that he doesn't have any 'special needs,' but merely a super thick Polish accent which is both terrifying to listen to and incredibly difficult to understand. I don't know if other immigrant children have been appointed the task of becoming a personal secretary/translator, but I certainly have. Of course it has its perks; sometimes my dad pays me, and other times the amusement of seeing Home Depot employees' faces when he says things like "wat do yoo mean yoo hav no more of dese? man on phone tolds me there were three. Dis place is sheethole" is enough. But there are those days, God bless him, when I have to search deep within my soul in order to keep from running screaming into the woods. Today was one of them. We were soaking up some rays by the side of the house when he interrupted my nap. (In Polish): "how do you say mud in English?" Me: mud. Dad: no not mad. Me: I'm not saying MAD, I'm saying MUD. Like wet, sticky dirt?" Dad: Yeah, you look like dirt. Dad: how do you say three? (comes out as free). Me: three. Not free. Dad: That's what I said. Free. Me: I can't. Dad: Stupid English.

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