I’m an ESL teacher in Korea and have been for 7+ years. I also taught in Singapore for two years. I tried out Thailand for six months before The Incident put a medical stop to that. I lived/studied in Germany for ~8 months. I’m an explorer. I’ve been to six continents and around 36 countries. It’s an odd path, one that my father instilled in me. I love my life, though it has many fun challenges to adapt to. The hardest to navigate is language.
My Korean is minuscule. I can read and pronounce Hangul, which is thankfully alphabetic. I have some problems with their vowels, but it’s pretty easy. They are happy you try. I can read and pronounce anything in Korean and won’t know what 99% of it says. It’s a fun bit of being an ex-pat. You live in a new place and are surrounded by things that you fundamentally don’t understand. Constantly reading signs to practice. Trying to get your vocabulary up. Anything is something.
When I am done teaching, I just want to be Me again. Ex-pats find each other and create a community where we can just be ourselves. Normal speech, diction, syntax. Slang. “Bad” words. I’m always desirous to share with folk. This is true throughout the world. Little Italy, Chinatown, and other cultural enclaves are always created from this central need for outsiders to create their own place. We have ours here as well.
While I can’t express myself in Korean, I’m not totally adrift. I am perfectly able to get around on my own using rudimentary language. Food, directions, no problem. Teacher vocabulary? Check. I’m best with numbers. You have to be, mostly because of money. I can do numbers up to 999,999 with no problem. I know the word for ‘million’ but it just doesn’t come up. But Korean is strange. They have two different number systems. They use the one I understand for minutes when telling time, but the one I don’t for hours, ordering, and various other things. (It’s complicated.) I know how to say 1-4 o’clock, or how to order 1, 2, 3 or 4 of something. I was taught early by my best friend. Curious, I asked: “What about five?”
“I’ve never had to order more than four of anything.”
It doesn’t come up, so you don’t learn it. I focus upon what I need, not fluency. I’ve gotten better with things that come up and are important enough to express. With other things, my phone can translate or I can Charlie Chaplin my way through something if I need to. That strategy doesn’t come up much in Adult Life in Korea, but it’s hella useful when explaining things to kids. I have used it for adults here and elsewhere, however. You can visually demonstrate that you’re hungry, sleepy, that you don’t feel well, or any number of things, incredibly easily. Humans innately understand all of this. Forget your pride and don’t feel bad. You’re trying to convey an idea and accomplish something. Everyone, everywhere, does it all the time. When in a foreign land, it becomes more of a necessity. Lean on it when you need to.
I focus upon everyday needs. The rest? I honestly don’t give it too much thought. After getting through life and the day, I just want to be Me. The rest doesn’t bother me. This leads me to a fantastic upshot of being a foreigner in a strange, strange land: anonymity.
I obviously stick out as a white guy in a country that is 99% Korean. Koreans have no knowledge of me unless they directly know me. I’m just One of the Other. White people look alike to Koreans, and this is a known phenomenon across the world. People of one race have a much harder time telling people of other races apart. I stand out, but just as an obviously anonymous Other. Paradoxically, I blend in to the crowd, just a nameless, faceless example of the outlying 1%.
Other than niceties, I never have to interact with anyone outside of work or friendship. I happily remain in my thoughts, floating through the world as a blissfully-ignored individual. I am a professional performer. In my spare time, my true, introverted self has the space and freedom I need. However, my sociability pours out in our enclave.
When someone speaks to you in your native language, when it isn’t theirs, I have a few tips. Don’t switch to their language. This constantly happened in Germany. They’d hear my accent and speak in perfect English to make things quicker and more understandable. If someone is making an effort to practice and learn, reward them for it. Listen carefully, be patient, and try to make the English conversation go as well as possible. Only resort to their language or translations if you’re at a linguistic standstill. Here, just saying a single word of Korean will ingratiate you to whomever you’re talking to. They frequently giggle just at the oddity of a foreigner being able to say something, anything, in Korean. They aren’t laughing AT you, as many ex-pats think. They are just happily surprised, like it’s a magic trick. It has also led to better treatment for doing my best to understand their language and culture. It makes their day. Makes it special. They remember. Trust me on that one.
Being an outsider is hard, but enjoyable and fulfilling. I’ve made it my entire adult life. When I travel, I am always sure to learn the basic niceties. Certainly learn yes, no, please and thank you. Try to get a couple of simple food/direction/place-names down. When you travel, make sure you write down everything of importance, especially landmarks like your hotel or airport, etc. You will need them. Have that safety net.
It’s so lovely how many loan words there are. In Korean, computer, battery, printer, camera, banana, photo, and thousands of other words are straight-up English, just sounded out in Korean. You’ll be shocked at how much vocabulary you already have and share with the foreign culture you’re in. You fall in love with those words.
These realities resound throughout the world. I’ve been to Russia, Japan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, and more, where I didn’t have the luxury of sharing the Latin alphabet with the locals. Learn the basics and you’ll be fine. Don’t let the linguistic barrier scare you from exploring these places.
Everywhere, people have a *rough* idea of English and are happy to help, especially if money is involved. I, and you, have my profession to thank for this. English is so universally important that people spend time and money to learn and teach their children to use our (everyone’s?) lingua franca. Foreign teachers are paid quite well to impart this knowledge upon others, who need to learn it for business and international abilities. I have made this my profession, and I’m rewarded with my salary and the ability to further my international exploration.
There is still more of this world to see and I intend on exploring as much of it as possible. If you’re willing and wanting, go out and see as much as you can. I do recommend having a sense of humor, because I guarantee that at times you’ll make mistakes. We all do. The Korean word for eighteen (십팔), ‘shib-pal,’ sounds remarkably similar for the Korean equivalent of “fuck” (씨발) (shee-bal). (I’m careful when I say that number.) Laughter and the willingness to go along with it is a part of the fun and adventure. Look forward to it and embrace it.
Go out! Explore! See and learn as much as you can, just make sure you have that basic safety net. New discoveries are out there for you. Only you can reap the rewards of your journeys into the (previously) unknown. Onward, upwards, always.
’ll be up for a couple more hours. Got my extra work in and have the morning off. I hope you all enjoy. Here, I suppose this best establishes how the lack-of-language isn’t something to be too feared. It’s a part of the exploration. UCS and others have talked about that a lot.
Something that I posted a few days back, it’s my second-favorite pic of me, ever. It’s from ‘17 and I was 30. I was having such a fun time that I didn’t even feel the urge to fake a smile. I hate getting my picture taken.
Difficult navigation is part of the fun. I’m also a weirdo, so YMMV.
I am so glad I skipped my lunch….oh…wait….good read Evan! I wish I took the chance at Korea as my first base in the military. I also wish the military wasn’t going to poop and took the second opportunity to go to Korea. Life is what it is.
Where is Namsan tower?
*Millions of Frenchmen start grinding their teeth*
le bruxisme? (?)
lingua franca, (Italian: “Frankish language”) language used as a means of communication between populations speaking vernaculars that are not mutually intelligible.
TBF, I had thought that linga franca had a connection to French being the, uh, linga franca of the civilized world for quite a while. TIL otherwise.
JI’s definition doesn’t preclude that being the reason for the term being coined.
I had looked it up earlier (TW: wikipedia)
The term “lingua franca” derives from Mediterranean Lingua Franca (also known as Sabir), the pidgin language that people around the Levant and the eastern Mediterranean Sea used as the main language of commerce and diplomacy from late medieval times to the 18th century, most notably during the Renaissance era.
In fairness, it was the common diplomatic language for most of Europe until supplanted by English.
It = French.
That’s where I thought the term really came from.
Or, whet slumbrew said. Although the fact that it is from wiki makes me doubt my previous understanding.
The definition I included was not wiki. I didn’t realize the term was Italian, but I did know it wasn’t meant to originally mean French, but the polyglot tongue of the Mediterranean.
Apparently I do poorly in that circumstance. The closest I came to an anxiety attack was in a french language grocery store in Quebec. I know I could have picked up the plasticware I needed and pay without human interaction, but being surrounded by words that made no sense tripped something in my brain that made me put the stuff back on the shelf, flee the store and find something with more english signage.
I don’t know if making it more foreign with a writing system I don’t understand would help or exacerbate it.
Back in 1998 when I was in Montreal I found it amusing that on the street, it was that trashy French being spoken but in nearly all places of business, it was all English.
Singapore is full like that. In its way. Absolutely EVERYTHING in public is in English. But in people’s homes? Mandarin, Malay and Tamil were the most common. I love Singlish. I try to still use “CAN!” and “CANNOT!” as well as “Will” and “Will not” into conversations. The Netherlands is pretty similar.
Depends on which side of town you’re on.
The francophones seem to find my French amusing enough to put up with it.
When I was in Montreal I passed people on the street that were having a conversation with one person speaking French and the other speaking English. Both seemed to understand what the other was saying.
So like SoCal where you have Spanglish.
That happens when immigrant parents in the US speak their native tongue to their kids but they reply in English. I’ve noticed it many times with Russian and German.
I remember my first trip to Montreal – it was for a software implementation that was underway. When going thru customs I was asked the purpose of my visit. I replied I was there to work for a couple of days. I was immediately detained and questioned for a good hour before they turned me loose. The correct answer is to attend a meeting or go sight-seeing. Great city to visit though.
The correct answer is to attend a meeting
This is correct, and the answer I use on my twice-yearly business trips to foreign places.
I have been advised that “To patronize the prostitutes, who I hear are both cheap and enthusiastic” is not a good answer.
They’re not that cheap.
…so I have been told.
They’re USD20, same as downtown.
When I was in Montreal it was 5USD per song, 2 songs got the girl naked…. Us California hockey kids spent a lot of time there as did our equipment manager.
Club Supersexxx on Rue Catherine! R.I.P.
“What the Hell, she goes on at 10 anyway.”
This happened to me as well, though in Calgary not Montreal. For a while I was seriously worried that I’d be turned back and have to spend the night in the airport.
I also remember getting a pamphlet explaining that I was not eligible for any public services – and don’t even try, or else. I always have to laugh when Canadians criticize US immigration policies, I guess they have no idea how restrictive their own country is in comparison.
My brother served his LDS mission in Quebec, English speaking. Well, he got thrown in the French side immediately without benefit of the 3 months of language training he should have gotten in Provo before being shipped off to Quebec.
ANYWAY. He went to France some time later and apparently, all the Parisians thought his Quebecois accent was just the most darling thing.
“You sound like a 17th Century hayseed!”
I imagine a more foreign writing system would exacerbate it for you. It will and does for most. Me too. I have to check labels at-length and after a minute or so, if I don’t get it then I have to move on and accept that (possible) loss. Sometimes that sucks a lot.
I do think that my parents, Dad especially, through his fatherhood/genetics, as well as his teaching/training/coaching, brought out the explorer in me ever since I was a (further) youngin’.
It’s just a bit of an obsession with me. There’s shit out there. I want to see more of it. I hate that COVID makes travelling harder, but masks on the permanently hearing impaired? It’s fucking outright cruelty that I can never forgive nor forget. Seeing mouths is important. Not lighting a Q torch here. (Right now…)
This is really cool. Glad you are getting out and exploring the world while you can.
Once when I was in Montreal I parked somewhere overnight, used the machine in default mode (French) and got my ticket, which had the time in 24 hour notation.
The second night I noticed there was an English language option. Got the ticket, went back to where I was staying. But in English, the time is given in 12-hour notation, so I though I had accidentally paid for only 12 hours.
This was a problem with every language class I took in school. When the hell am I going to use “basın toplantısı” in everyday conversation or in an emergency? That’s literally one of the first phrases I learned in Turkish. WTF.
So, what does it mean?
Something about the temple bathroom, I’m guessing.
I thought it was a terracotta pot. You know, a basin to plant is i
Google translate (I know) says “press conference.”
Turks don’t dot their Is?
There is one with a dot and one without. Different vowels.
Gah! Why couldn’t the crusades have succeeded?
At least they don’t write with Arabic letters any more.
One always needs to know when to call a press conference in Turkey, to be frank. Ya should know better than that! I almost got in trouble there, if you remember that story…
Guh. My little-kid classes are so bullshit with that. They don’t want me to focus on phonics but I have to teach weird vowel-consonant combos like ‘en/id/etc’ and…those aren’t sounds that come up frequently…Hen? Pen? Windmill? Sid? Lid? Yak? Um…you chose poor books for this part-timer to teach. Gotta get clever. Performance must be created.
You mean “Where is the library?” isn’t a very valuable phrase?
Next you’ll tell me that ¿donde esta la zapatera? isn’t an important phrase.
¡Pero necesito zapatas!
librairie, or biblothèque?
I was trying to find a clip of a stand up from the 80’s who had a routine based around taking college Spanish for four years, and only remembering two phrases:
1) What a pity there are too many women in the kitchen.
2) My record player is broken.
The story spins out a time in his life where he needed and was able to use both phrases.
Mi tocadistos está descompuesto?
Is that why my ex used to say #2 all the time. Hm.
(Demasiado de mujeres en la cocina? Que lástima.)
“My hovercraft is full of eels.”
“Librairie” is a bookstore, if I remember my high-school French correctly.
I’m with you, Evan! I enjoy the foreign-ness of those other places. It’s mind-expanding for me.
I know it gives some people agita and I understand and don’t blame them. I have had occasional freak-out moments in foreign countries, too, and it can be really difficult. No language, can’t read signs, can’t communicate, what if X goes wrong, where’s a friggin’ hospital?, etc.
But there’s a confidence that builds from pulling it off time after time that I find difficult to explain. You just know you’ll be okay. You can do it…
Or maybe it’s just a variant of Faith. God takes care of even morons like me on a river that borders Russia and China in sub-Arctic temperatures during Chinese New Year.
Chinese military official, asking me while standing on frozen river: “Are you a spy?!”
Me, looking around: “No. Is there something here to spy on?”
Chinese military official, smiling: “You really not spy??”
Me, smiling: “No, I really not spy.”
“Okay!” handing me back my passport.
I was so with you until your Russia/China story…and then I read further and it hit me so strong.
Reminds me of being on that Kazakh being pushed around by dudes in legit Soviet uniforms.
People around here told me that I didn’t bribe (baksheesh?) well enough. They weren’t wrong…but…uh….it’s intimidating. But that was the only time I’ve felt scared, and even then I wasn’t afraid of them doing anything to me. It’s just…the difference of it all that makes it scarier. They were actually quite polite, unlike the Fuck that got me into that trouble in the first place trying to steal my tablet.
I found it odd in China when I would speak some dead-simple phrase perfectly and they would still just grin and look blank at me. Like they don’t know to handle it coming out of a round-eyes.
That’s interesting. I’ve been to Hong Kong a few times and Taiwan once, but I refuse to go to proper China.
Koreans universally love it. It’s like you’re Houdini and they’ll give you a glowing round-of-applause.
I wonder if that is because of our continued presence there since the 50s and most GIs aren’t immersing themselves in the culture but when some do, the locals enjoy it?
The Korean government likes the US military there, and people…pretty much put up with it.
But the US soldiers here have a bad reputation among day-to-day Koreans. I live closest to Daegu, where a large base is. Koreans will regularly shit-talk them and how they hate the US soldiers, but they never go up to hating why they are here. Some bars will actively look for IDs and won’t let you in if you have a soldier ID. I haven’t come across that in a long time, but I have seen that in the past. I haven’t left Daejeon in the 9 months I’ve been back.
Koreans love ex-pats. They do NOT like soldiers. YMMV and exceptions roam.
Yeah kinda what I was getting at. Most stretches in Korea are 1-2 years, whereas ex-pats are living there. I have friends that raised hell in Osan and others that melded into the community, so definitely a YMMV situation.
Meh, everyone in every country living near a military base has a love/hate relationship with the soldiers stationed there.
Love all that money pouring into the local economy from a bunch of drunken idiots. Hate all the stupid stuff those drunken idiots do.
p.s. I thought you were up near Seoul Evan?
Daegu is where my in-laws are.
I’ve played shows there but I have always lived in Daejeon. Been most everywhere, but my home as always been here. Would never want to live in Seoul. Fun for a weekend, but…goddamn it’s so fucking big.
I get it. I’ve been around that phenomenon in both directions.
People don’t expect certain sounds from American mouths and hearing their own language coming from a foreigner’s mouth is so out of context, it can be jarring.
One of the funniest examples of this was in Japan – three white guys and a big Korean guy (all Marines) eating in a Japanese restaurant. Japanese waitress comes up to Korean guy and speaks in Japanese – white guy to her right breaks out in flawless Japanese. You could see her brain spinning – it was like she thought the Korean guy (that she had mistaken for Japanese) was a ventriloquist ad has his hand up the white guy’s ass.
We all laughed our asses off. And the Korean guy was all offended: “I’m Korean! Racist.”
Like Henry Cho? Cause it doesn’t make sense hearing his accent…
My buddy’s ex-GF’s parents were Vietnamese boat people who settled in Mississippi. That southern accent was always a big unexpected (and got stronger when she had a few drinks).
I found it wildly attractive.
I met my wife at Memphis State. She had gone there to take an intensive English class so she could get into graduate school here.
She said that when she was looking for a school, an advisor had said don’t pick one on the coasts. If she went to California or NY, she would be able to get by fairly easily speaking Korean or Japanese.
In Memphis? She was going to have to learn some English to get by.
I don’t think she every really got a Southern accent, but she did have to learn how the locals used “I’m fixin’ to ….”
Thanks to OPM, the Chinese know who are spies.
“People of one race have a much harder time telling people of other races apart.”
As my Korean college roommate used to say, “All you white guys look the same”.
Yeeeeep. And so do Koreans. Take away the masks and before I still had tons of problems. One big one? Children are required to have one of 2-3 haircuts. They…are children. With the same hairstyles…and wearing school uniforms (most of the time)…and…have foreign accents…
Ya. Kids have to have personality for me to remember specifically who they are. I know most of them. But I still confuse some of them. People’s brains aren’t wired for that. I think this is where the Modern Racists get their Critical Theory BS. They just can’t tell! YAAAAGH!
Yeah, I’m going to go out on a limb and posit that there is more variety among “white” people in a diverse country like the US than among monocultures like Korea or Japan.
I largely agree. Korea is the most homogeneous nation on Earth. 99% straight and full Korean. Far less variety.
But there is a lot of non-Fauci-BS research into the predictable assumption that that grow up among one race have a harder time telling people from other races apart. Repeatedly studied and consistent. Makes perfect sense. But you’re absolutely correct, places like Korea/Japan go into an outlier because of how homogeneous they are.
Does this work? not vetted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRz-A5sgYyQ
Very pretty people.
One black female coworker of mine years back complained that white folks were crazy, because they said they could tell if someone had Irish, German, Slovak, etc. heritage just by looking at them. She knew that all white people looked the same.
I’ve been picked out as having polish ancestry in foreign locales. I think I’ve started to get an idea of where whites are from. The problem with America is we all get lumped together and there are so many mutts… Well yeah, then it gets harder.
Forgot to add, the gentleman in question couldn’t believe I was an American. Dunno why…
My Germanic-origin friend and I were addressed in Polish at the local Polish festival. I was accidentally wearing red and white shoes, too. “Uh, whuh?”
Watching K-Dramas with the wife and family we always bug her because we have a hard time figuring out who is who. We like it when they wear the same thing everytime they are on screen. The wife keeps telling us that the two potential boy friends of the main female character are totes different, but we have troubles.
I once ordered my meal in Hamburg, in my broken GI German. The waiter, about 50 years old, asked back in perfect English, “And what would you like to drink?”
That was in 1958, I can only believe much has changed since then.
Wow. When I lived there in the mid-80s it was still common to find adults who could not speak any English but all their kids could, to varying degrees.
I did much the same thing in late 1996 – tried to order a plate of schnitzel, couldn’t remember the German word for that savory brown gravy. The little blonde waitress, who was as cute as a ginger ale ad, prompted, “do you want the brown gravy with that?” Her English was perfect, with a slight Brit accent.
“You speak English!” I blurted out, belaboring the obvious.
She smiled prettily. “So do you!”
I became a regular customer at that place.
My WWII GI father remembered the French country girls asking, in somewhat perfect English, “GI got chocolate, cigarettes, make you happy?”
Whitesplaining Full Metal Jacket?
When I was in Denmark anyone under 40ish could speak about 3-4 languages. The elders would practically spit at anyone other than pure Danish speakers. I did learn a few words and phrases while I was there and was accused of lying that I was American and not actually Danish by an Asian-American girl whose family were ex-pats from near my hometown in the States. Small damn world.
1997 – Rhineland Pfalz. Every young person spoke wonderful English. But I had several years of German, and was bound to use it! Older people liked that, and were unfailingly polite when I would wander in some small Ort or Dorf and go into the Gasthaus.
My best friend has done a lot of research in Amsterdam at the Archives…he says all the young people have perfect American accents and slang. He finally asked one Archive assistant why this was…? “Discord”. You see, if you are a video gamer on multiplayer games, the Americans are always on Discord, so to talk/coordinate and BS with them, you have to speak American English, and you pick up their slang. Ha!
Montreal, Dublin, London, Toulouse, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Moscow, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney.
I haven’t been out of the country in 15 years. I sort of miss it, but not that much.
We’re hoping Japan opens back up sometime soon. I’ve been over there a number of times for work, but just once we want to go for a pure vacation, and not just to hoist a few with Straff.
My guesstimate, after the new government, is 2-5 years for tourists. A little less for North Korean style guided groups with rigid schedules and limited wandering around.
Since the world has lost its damn mind it has completely upended our soon to be traveling plans. We were going to jetset the world once the teens were 18 and out of the house. Ireland, Sweden, Norway were tops on our list to visit since they are ancestral homelands. Especially Norway for my family name. Maybe the world in 5 years will remember itself.
I forgot Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a great place. And it is more than pot and hookers.
I loved it there every time I went.
I got to see my favorite artist’s work in the Netherlands. The MC Escher Museum in the Hague. That…blew me away. Still my hands-down visual artistic love. Gorgeous.
The stairs there are a bit screwy though.
I overnighted there more than a dozen times. I would stay in a hotel at Schiphol and take the train to the central station. Stayed an extra day a couple of times. Went to the Dutch National Museum (once) and the Van Gogh Museum (twice).
the pot and hookers are the overrated part
Amsterdam seemed dirty and unclean. Like visiting Portland, but with better food.
I haven’t been in awhile (10 years?), but I recall the old part of the city, the canal district, as being quite clean indeed. As in, women washing their front steps with soap and water clean.
I did wander into a couple of kind of scuzzy neighborhoods (briefly), but there wasn’t any open drug use, shit on the streets, lunatic panhandlers, or anything like you would see in a socialist American city.
I miss Hong Kong. I will probably never go back with the way things are going.
Up until I went to Aruba a couple years back, my overseas travels were:
Purest coincidence, I say. Not some sort of Axis groupie. Really.
Does it count as “Overseas” travel if it’s Canada?
I say no, since 1) you don’t cross any seas to get there and 2) that would ruin my little bon mot, since Canada was the first foreign country I ever went to.
Weirdly, both Canada and Mexico count as “offshore” for legal purposes.
Perhaps also weird, for different reasons, so does Puerto Rico.
That drives me crazy. I work in our export department and could never understand why it’s gets treated that way, especially since they also get screwed by the Jones Act on top of it.
I’d like to go back to all of those places, BTW. Maybe Italy most of all. Florence is just great.
And I’m really happy we went to Lake Como. Crazy beautiful.
There are places around the world I’d love to go to, a few being second times around. But I’m not expecting to at this point. I’m just not sure we’re ever going back to what I would consider normal. In that case, we have our new place to settle into and essentially shut out the rest of the world.
And speaking of the ‘new’ place, a few pics. We’ve dubbed it Nothin’ Fancy, since it is in/near Fancy Gap VA, about a mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I’m developing a list of projects, from the small (and affordable) to the grand (including building a house and barn more suitable for full time residence). Hopefully the link works, if not, I can repost on imgur.
They are just happily surprised, like it’s a magic trick. It has also led to better treatment for doing my best to understand their language and culture. It makes their day. Makes it special. They remember. Trust me on that one.
I noticed a few Germans seemed impressed with my broken German.
They didn’t like mine…but mine was terrible and I almost wasn’t let to study their by Bloomington IU because of that. But it all went fine. Freiburg, Germany is still my favorite place in all the world.
Oh, clarification. No one was ever mean to me. They just switched to English, and theirs was fantastic. But I was 20 and mostly around university areas. YMMV. God, I love that place. Vauban!
Almost everyone switched to English upon hearing my German. Some would continue in German until I got stuck, and then switch to English. There were a few people that I couldn’t understand a word of, and then I would pull the dumb foreigner card and explain my German wasn’t very good. Then we’d switch to English.
On my last trip to Vienna, I got a cold. However, I continued doing some stuff (SUPERSPREADER!!!!!111). On my last day, as the cold was winding down, I decided to get some Sachertorte. I stopped by the Aida on Singerstraße. I sat outside. Nearby a group of what looked like Chinese tourists was hassling a waitress. This waitress was my waitress. She was quite attractive. I spoke to her in German to place my order. After watching her be hassled, and since she was very nice to me, I tipped her American style. I couldn’t tell if she was trying to tell me in German that I had tipped too much or if she was trying to start up a conversation. She spoke too fast and I understood too few words. I stumbled out in German that I had to leave, good-bye! At that point, I was more interested in going back to sleep than chatting up a pretty waitress. If I had not been sick, I would have explained my German isn’t that good and asked her to switch to English.
Vauban is where I lived. Was a French barracks. Became a part of the University of Freiburg. It’s a very interesting place.
My 1/4″ four fluted endmill just arrived in the mail.
It’s got one of my favorite phrases on it – “Made in the USA”.
Now just waiting for the 3/16″ one to show up.
I am not sure if its because I am getting older or if yall getting more obscure, but these euphemisms just are getting weird.
Not sure if Kodiak is a good brand, but $17 for something to just start learning with isn’t bad.
USA made, coated carbide. That is a good end mill. And they are local to you.
Nice! Now the real fun begins.
Well, I have the angle aluminum, some all-thread, nuts, and wingnuts so I’m going to see if I can put together a few workholders for the bigger pieces. I have a few ideas in my head and some contingency plans, plus enough extra aluminum and all-thread to make mistakes.
The Proper Gloves for Light Machining?
“On the importance of making sure your cutting steel is properly secured”.
Mine just fell out while cutting. Fortunately, there was no damage to anything that was not intended to be cut. The moment it lost its grip, the steel stopped turning and just slid down, but wasn’t so short as to fall entirely out of the machine, so I switched it off and came here to laugh at my mistake.
Perfect! Can’t wait to see the results.
i would like to visit but probably not live in a place like Korea, too foreign culture wise i feel
Pretty photos! I admire your moxie. Another alphabet, oy*. Pectopah!
Longer story: I was in Morocco with 4 other dudes, on a “business” trip. Officially there was no US Military in Morocco. Anyway, at the conclusion of our business three of the guys (the most senior in rank of course) caught a military flight back to Madrid. The two juniors took a bus to Casablanca, stayed at the Casablanca Hilton, ate, drank fine wine and had enough money left over for the bus ride to the Casablanca Airport, where we already had tickets. Then the fun started. Early Saturday morning. We didn’t know there was an exit fee to leave Morocco and we didn’t have enough money and the guard wouldn’t let us through. We dug through our pockets and counting change we had enough US, pesetas and Moroccan currency to get through. Nope, had to be in one currency and no change. He sent us back to the bar, which was closed.
We were in a quandary, we were stranded. Finally I told my buddy, “here’s what we’re going to do, we’ll go back to the guard, give him all our money and run like hell”. We did and got to the plane just in time, it was booked full, we had to suffer in first class, now we’re living the high life, linen service, good drinks and food. We got to Madrid broke but took a taxi, dropped off my partner first, I had the taxi wait as I ran into my house and got money to pay the guy.. What a relief, Monday morning had a great time in the office with the story. I’m still shaking
I was in Morocco with 4 other dudes, on a “business” trip. Officially there was no US Military in Morocco. – don’t ask don’t tell?
You can ask…but some had blue passports, the two of us left stranded had red passports.
What was the significance of the passport colors at that time?
One is the color for U.S. citizens and the other is for U.S. government personnel (who have if not full diplomatic immunity, more respect given than what is accorded to the hoi polloi).
The Philippines charged a flight departure tax the first time I visited. It had to be paid at the airport with a higher rate for foreigners. The last time I visited the tax was included in the ticket price.
Certainly learn yes, no, please and thank you
Beer please. Where is the toilet?
At DLI we also memorized “Don’t shoot! I know secrets.”
I’m stealing “Seventh Jab Adventist”
My 1/4″ four fluted endmill just arrived in the mail.
[insert “okay sign” emoji]
C’est dur when your accent is better than your comprehension.
Vaguely on tangent, I’ve been using Duolingo to learn French, just to stretch my brain.
I’m on a 96 day streak – I figured at the current rate, I’l l be through all 10 units in… about 2 1/2 years.
I may need to increase my daily practice.
There’s no particular reason I chose French other than, I suppose, I like French food and wine & Peter Mayle books. I’m contemplating pivoting to Spanish, as that’s more likely to have some practical use around here. Or Portuguese – lots of Brazilians around here.
Parce que c’est facile (as far as foreign languages go, anyway)?
I’m assuming the French/Spanish/Italian(/Portuguese?) family are all about equally easy/hard.
And so says the DLI:
Interesting that German is harder than the Romance languages for an English speaker, given how many German-descended words we have. Even more interesting is that Indonesian is roughly on par with German.
I think it’s more the grammar than the words per se.
SOV v SVO?
Haus? Maus? Hand?
subject-object-verb and v.v., obviously
I got to use Dari more than Arabic…so it seemed a bit easier to me. But that may be the “immersion” effect.
Romance languages? ask Pie? 😉
I could go for something really niche, like Irish.
The also have Klingon and High Valyrian, so I could really impress the ladies.
You want to know the language of my people?
Let’s start with a greeting.
*smashes beer stein over slumbrew’s head*
Irish would be a great secret language for in public.
Attn all Glibs: https://www.duolingo.com/course/ga/en/Learn-Irish
That’ll throw off the feds when the log into the zooms
Irish (and the related Welsh) are very interesting in their own right. And yeah, completely incomprehensible to outsiders.
I know y and w are vowels.
I still am unsure how to pronounce your name: ree-wun?
hroo-win would be close. It means “someone”.
I dunno, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch seems easy enough.
HROOWIN would be a good license plate.
I studied a little Spanish in high school and dabbled in a little French later in life.
I thought French was harder because of the irregularities in spelling and difficulties in getting pronunciation right.
I took 4 years of high school Spanish because the teacher was hot!
Closer to English than Spanish, though.
Irish, if you want many silent letters and a few diacriticals. Póg ma thón! ? ☘️
Closer to English than Spanish, though.
Yes, but still harder I think than Spanish.
Póg ma thón! ? ☘️
HM signal lit. Oh, right, that’s eating.
Oh… ummm… aren’t you married?
Er, single, never married.
Oh. My mistake.
How YOU doin’?
Our Irish bar in town has that proudly displayed and it is, with every raise of the glass, gladly shouted out.
Heyyy, Joey Nicky. ? (Sorry, OBE: ran outta Replys.)
While I’d rather learn French, Spanish is the language with the most practical application here.
A Year in Provence – the only book I very deliberately rationed my reading, so I didn’t devour it in just a few sessions.
So great. Well worth re-reading.
The only downside is I get a powerful craving for a glass of wine (or three) when reading his books.
His fiction is enjoyable as well.
I figured at the current rate, I’l l be through all 10 units in… about 2 1/2 years.
It’s a shocking amount of material, given it’s (mostly) ad-supported.
I miss foreign coins, even if one had to change them every few kilometers. I pity the EU: ancient currencies now Monopoly money.
This cunte is still talking.
Real oppression: “the dear leader demands you pledge allegiance to him!”
Fake oppression: “here is a healthy vaccine to protect you and others.”
The anti-vax right are the REAL snowflakes.
That characterization is about as honest as your J6 crocodile tears.
Real oppression: “the dear leader demands you pledge allegiance to him!”
Isn’t that currently what the purge in the military is basically about?
Kinzinger is a slimeball of the umpteenth order.
I’ve gone from wondering whether they have anything on him to how many pictures they have of him diddling little boys.
Great article Evan. You are one awesome cat and an inspiring fella. I hope your 2022 is wonderful.
OT – Holy smokes, this is pretty cool – Turn your single-shot, break-action shotgun into a repeater with this one weird trick!
More OT – The Christmas Eve zoomie is still active, if anyone wants to join me while I putter about the house.
Man… I give you guys a special treat for a day and you keep it running for days and extra days. 🙂
It’s kinda neat, having an open Glibs zoom.
I think that would violate some range safety standards somehow.
Link for Zoom?
Linky no worky? Or did Neph finally shut it down
I haven’t shut down anything. I’m just entertained that I keep getting notifications that Glib x has joined the meeting. If you guys want, I can put together a recurring open meeting room as well. Just keep in mind that strangers could get in, and it’ll have to be shut down for the scheduled meetings to work.
GASP! He is actually working?! HEY, RUFUS!
That explains the other meeting in progress….who works this time of year?
This is a personal Zoom account, my work one (paid for by work) I wouldn’t use for something like this. Let alone that would dox me right quick. But… looking at the link that pistoffnick shared, that’s the Virtual Happy Hour one, not the Christmas open one. That would mean the Christmas one is the other meeting.
It says “The host has another meeting in progress”
This should be the open Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86480645748?pwd=QjhnaEs2Mysxak5iY0JMN0ZxbUNqQT09
Since it’s the day of Midweek Zoom, I guess we could just use Neph’s open one this evening as well.
I may pop up in a bit after Scammer Payback is done
My family went to Europe in 1988. I was 20. I had had one year of high school French and it had faded by then. When we went to Paris, I tried to use French, but people just smiled at me, figuratively patted my head, and spoke English. It was a very pleasurable experience.
Evan, you’ve sort of sparked in me a regret that a) I didn’t travel when I was single and b) I never really had any desire to go ‘splorin’. What travel I have done is because my mother has wanderlust and we went all sorts of places when I was a kid, OR because I was going somewhere to do something specific and I wanted to get there asap. I’m still like that. If I could dispense with gas and potty breaks I would. Must. Set. Land. Speed. Record.
Don’t worry about that. I’ve lived a weird life and not many people would do what I do. I’ve also paid the price. Eek.
I know that I can’t do what you do. It takes all types and kinds. Your travel sounds inspired and meaningful. Mine have also been specific, but our specifics aren’t the same. I wish that I had the stability that other folk do. But I’ve chosen this path for myself. Some fun wrenches in the gears to make it even more random. I just find that to be a fun quirk that adds to the amusement that I get from the world. The Foreign Anonymity that I talked about is the best way I can express it.
You’ll break that land speed record. In your own way. And it will different than the way I do it. And that’s the best thing. We get to write about and express how we’re different have different lenses to peek through. I’m envious of so many of you. But I can’t change the way I live, because that’s the path I’m on. We both get to enlighten the other to the Other that we don’t personally experience.
Evan, you are an inspiration. I was far too cautious in my younger days, and remained in my very small world (NYC metro) until I turned 40. Fortunately I met a woman who dragged me kicking and screaming to domestic and international destinations for the 5 years it took to start a family. You had the right idea: get out and do stuff while you can, tomorrow may never come.
“The Korean word for eighteen (십팔), ‘shib-pal,’ sounds remarkably similar for the Korean equivalent of “fuck” (씨발) (shee-bal)”
Convenient when asking a girl if she’s legal.
*insert Quagmire gif here*
Was gonna craft a joke…but…you pretty much nailed it.
OT: (a bit? it is still language oriented)
Just got out of a meeting where we were talking about how much time we wanted to spend renaming all our repositories from “master” to “main”. Why? Just because that is what all the Right People say should be done. Because “master” is so problematic.
I got mad and ranted about what a stupid waste of time this is. If you want to name new repos “main” fine. But renaming just for renaming? Stupid!
I closed with “do they teach kids all about ‘mainbating’ in Sex Ed nowadays?”
I closed with “do they teach kids all about ‘mainbating’ in Sex Ed nowadays?”
Oh, well played.
Is the person who runs the Post Office the “postmain” now?
What about they guy who runs our website? “Webmain”?
Is the Mona Lisa now a “mainpiece”?
I’m sure there’s lot of others, but you hit the best one right out of the gate.
You mean when you’re hooking your worm?
I believe the purpose of that class is now to shame the straight kids and to convince them they need to be surgically mutilated.
I refuse to do that sort of nonsense. They might eventually force me.
I mean, we sync our DNS zones from the master branch to the hidden masters and thence to the slaves. So problematic.
Just got out of a meeting where we were talking about how much time we wanted to spend renaming all our repositories from “master” to “main”.
What took you so long? Progressive organizations like mine did this in the summer of 2020! In addition, we refactored every bit of our code to remove references to “white” and “black”. I am quite proud that I managed to modify over 300 source objects without breaking our systems. Two months of work, during which time literally nothing else got done.
You have got to be kidding.
I wish. I was at the time in the middle of a long term assignment to enhance our logic layer to accommodate additional product types. I bit my tongue when asked why that project did not come in on schedule.
Truly you work in a salt mine of development. The Church of Agile would save you from such horrible torments as being expected to be done with something by a certain dates.
Rule 1: Shit is only complete when it is complete. You can decide what complete means (or change it at any time) but you can’t tell developers when it has to be done.
Rule 2: Shit is never done. You can keep improving it indefinitely.
I’m beating up on Agile, but really it is any methodology. Too many people are convinced that the methodology is the secret. In reality any methodology will work if you follow it in a rational way. You still need to be smart and think about what you are doing.
Heh. We break things up into two-week sprints with daily stand-up meetings, but that is mostly in order to keep track of shit. If product needs a new feature by a certain date, we damn well need to meet that deadline. I have fun mocking my org, but they do like making money, which requires a relatively sane approach to product development.
what the actual fuck?
What took you so long?
We had other priorities. Like changing our “grooming” meetings to “refinement” meetings. Because grooming has problematic links to sexual exploitation.
No proper Agile shop would ever allow such a horrible term to be used. (like anyone would want to lure/trick developers into a life of sexual exploitation)
One of the reasons I dislike Agile so much is because a whole layer of Agile Acolytes crop up. They add no real value and know it. So they evangelize night and day about how important it is to follow the True Agile Way. If we just follow the process – perfectly – then the project will be super successful. If shit goes off the rails it must mean we didn’t conduct one of the “ceremonies” incorrectly or with an impure heart.
We follow just the most basic stuff as found in Azure DevOps. Two-week sprints. Grooming. The word “scrum” does not come up and nobody wastes time following a list of “principles” or whatnot.
It works. I remember the before times *shudder*.
I got certified as a ScrumMaster when I was unemployed and needed a resume topper. I ended up working in O&M, and my cert lapsed.
A previous employer went through that exercise.
The claim from higher-ups was that customers wanted it.
The question has not even been raised where I work.
I’m so proud of us.
So I apparently need to make more of a deal of having a Master’s degree now?
Please tell me you’ve been here.
But, I’ve been here.
My girlfriend (Now ex-wife) took me there. We had a great time watching the Tibetan monks pick up and examine the various objects.
Sigh. My PARENTS have been to Jeju-Do. I never have been. They call it the Hawaii of Korea. I’ve also never been to the DMZ. I’m much more upset about that one.
Hah! I’ve been to Jeju-Do. But I went with my family so it was pretty tame.
The hardest part of Jeju-Do is that it is a huge destination for newly-wed couples. Which means that there are lots of young good looking girls who can be frisky in public for the first time. My wife said it was very, very, very, very bad to look at a new bride in Korea. I’m not sure I believe her, but I wasn’t willing to call bullshit.
I can last about a week hearing a foreign language, then it becomes tedious and I start to feel like I’m going crazy. Actually the time limit depends on the language.
They more closely related to English the easier it is to listen to.
I find the trick is to not listen in commute time. I always am listening to a podcast or music. I just know where I need to go and know how to order or ask if something is out-of-order and I need to correct myself.
Again, I really love the anonymity that it has always given me. I can just gloss on through existence. Play it up for teaching/performance and have fun, on my own terms, with others. Otherwise, I just disappear and am never hassled nor spoken to. It’s…actually pretty fabulous. Just know the basics and nothing ever comes up.
People in India are much more willing to bother you in my experience, and many had worse English than I had Hindi. Though I found certain area’s accents hard to understand. Bombay Hindi is the easiest*, not least because 1 in 10 words will be in English anyway.
*But my teacher was from there
I can cope with a lot of accents, but I keep running into those from the subcontinent with accents thick enough to deflect small arms fire. It’s always in the most technical discussions where going “I can’t understand a fucking thing you say” is least diplomatic.
I meant their accent in Hindi. 😀
You also get to do the guess how an Indian would be taught to say an English word by a Brit game just to add a little fun to the bonus round.
I don’t speak hindi. I barely speak english.
There’s a reason I prefer e-mails/chats for some technical issues. When a typo in a command can cause issues, it’s really important to be clear (and that’s not counting the people who get confused by the slash and the backslash keys).
My wife doesn’t like being the only foreigner in a crowd. One of the reasons she doesn’t like my hometown is because there aren’t many Asians and most of them are Hmong or Vietnamese. She feels uncomfortable when people want to talk to her about where she came from and what Korea is like.
I tell her it is because life on the prairie is pretty boring and people really are genuinely interested in Korea.
When we go to Korea she worries about how the Koreans (especially out in the country where her village is) would treat me. She knows that the rube Koreans will not give a second thought to poking you or touching your hair. Same thing, they are interested in foreigners and there is less taboo about touching other people there.
Personally I have fun with it. I don’t take offense at being treated like a large animal. In fact I use their low expectations of me to my advantage. I don’t have to wait for someone else to pour my drink like a proper Korean. I can just pour my own. And if I pour a drink for my relatives, I don’t have to worry about whether I need to use two hands to pour their drink out of respect or I can get away with just one hand.
Like others have said, being willing to try to speak Korean is like being a 2 year-old, no matter how pathetic your attempt is everyone praises you like you cured cancer.
When I was in Japan in the mid-’80s being a foreigner was still enough to scare kids. Now there are so many gaiijin that the kids don’t even bat an eye. Every time I have visited my wife’s home village some relative of hers has brought me to their elementary school as a literal show and tell subject. It is pretty fun, all the kids are pretty nervous about being around a hairy American (we all carry guns everywhere you know). Then the first brave kid will start practicing their English on you: “Hello. How are you?” Then as soon as you answer and don’t bite him the rest of the kids start in on you.
I had white blonde hair when I was in China. I had many people ask to take a pic with me. Also, at the Temple of Heaven, a little kid was merrily skipping along in front of me, then he turned around and saw me and ran away screaming.
Red hair here.
Walking with my kids (especially when they were small) was also an adventure. Older Korean women would literally shoulder past us, then turn around to see what my little half breed looked like. Then she’d pinch a cheek or tug on the kid’s hair.
My youngest had a near melt down when he was 4. We were visiting a beach and a school bus of Jr. High girls showed up. They all thought he was the cutest thing ever and mobbed him. He snapped and ran to me for protection.
I slapped him around and told him that one day he’d have to pay top dollar to have that many Asian girls in school uniforms touch him.
I was the only white for who knows how far when I visited Mindinao in the Philippines. I believe every child in sight called out “Kano” to get my attention and wouldn’t stop until I responded. Pretty much everyone, even in the bundok, is proficient in English so no language problems. I’m glad I had family to help with the cultural differences.
I’m going to go with “Even though it isn’t as much progress as I hoped, I’m going well” with my practice for hammer endurance. My number of hammer swings I can get through before I need a break has gotten up to 150, with a more agressive swing. I can’t remember if the day I started the exercises if I made 50 or 75 in the first run of the day. I still figure I’ll need more to do actual smithing work next week.
Night for me! Wanna keep reading comments (if you have ’em) in the morning. I’ll get back to y’all.
Thanks to everyone and TPTB. Cheers!
Support for my home cloud is ending, which means I will lose my remote access to the files. The device is perfectly fine and I don’t want to pay a Dropbox subscription fee. I’m really pissed about this.
DC students need a negative test to return to school
Will they get as much non-compliance as LA? Will they back down if they do?
I don’t recall. Are minimum wage increases inflationary or deflationary?
The best part is the commissioner then sets rates and the ratchet only works one way.
Ermagerd!! My hair salon serves wine!!! ?
I had One Of Those Days at work, so this revelation couldn’t come at a better time.
Nominally on topic, the extent of my international travel has been a few hours in southern Ontario when I was a kid. ?
Sorry about the workday.
I’ve been trying to maintain a diplomatic tightrope with various other groups to try to get a problem’s root cause fixed.
Booze is good.
It won’t be enough to have any noticeable effect. It’s just the principle.
Even if it helps you relax psychologically instead of pharmacologically, it’s working.
Between that and the scalp massage my stylist gives me during my shampoo, I feel much better. ?
You should try my barber shop. There’s always a bottle of liquor in a cabinet someplace.
Anyone remember the film “Gotcha” with Anthony Edwards ?
“Mon stylo est grand”
I should. My ballpoint pen is big?
The sky is falling.
As soon as I got the call last week, I cried.
I was not worried about myself. I was worried about my four kids. Not for caretaking; I have a very competent husband, and the kids are all either old enough to vote or close to it. No, I panicked because my Covid-19 diagnosis triggered the memory of when I got my cancer diagnosis.
Because those things are the same.
And then I got Covid-19 — exactly what my family had feared. My husband and I went to our friends’ apartment for dinner where everyone was triply vaccinated. It was our first or second dinner in years in someone else’s home, drinking wine, talking politics, lingering. We all felt so good to be back together.
Five days later, just after I left the hospital for a biannual breast exam, I got the news those friends had tested positive. My heart sank. Four days later, I tested positive, too. …
We are so lucky that my Covid-19 symptoms were not severe — I felt like I had a mild cold, a few sniffles, a cough or two.
So the vaxxes don’t work and convid is mild for most people. Go figure.
Its the same when they equate DNA vaccines to RNA vaccines…but who is going to quibble about that.
Not PTSD from some prior diagnosis, but when I initially was feeling bad and did the at-home tests, #1 was positive. My PTSD came from when BabyMama came out of the bathroom with the stick she’d just micturated upon.
“Oh fuck. Hell no. Take another”
So I took #2. They take 15 minutes per the instructions but even after 5 I could see the direction it was going.
Well, since 40 CFR 60.8 (f) says that a complete evaluation is the arithmatic average of 3 samples….
Retard alert. I mean, sure I’ll rinse off fruit, but washing groceries? LOL
This could be my niece. She’s gone off her rocker.
FFS that crackpot theory was disproven 18 months ago.
Same with the stupid coof shields…they do jack shit, but here we are.
At one point early in the panicdemic, one of our senior managers thought we should let incoming and interoffice mail sit for…I forget how long … before I should sort it.?
BUT SHE WAS SURE SHE WAS GOING TO DIE BECAUSE COVID IS SO LIKE CANCER?
Can’t you understand? Where is your fucking sympathy*?
* as my father was fond of saying (not very literally): in the dictionary between shit and suicide.
You need to watch this. I haven’t started the book yet, but holy shit.
RFK Jr’s library is nice.
RFK makes a point about a Fauci trial method that rings very true. He intentionally shortens the trials in order to keep the long term safety data from leaking in. It’s what he did with AZT, and it appears that’s what he has done with the vaccines by collapsing the phase 1 trials early.
Great article Evan, good your recovery is still moving forward.
I lived in Okinawa, Japan for 7 years working as a carpenter. I was the only white guy at the jobsites. The only time I saw another American is on weekends when my wife and I would go barhopping on Gate 2 street.
I had hair down to my waist and kids loved to corner me at school functions and “interview” me about everything.
By the time I left, my grammar wasn’t good, but I had a large vocabulary and could paticipate in group conversations.
If the economy hadn’t crashed, I might still be there.
I feel like Bob Cratchitt. It’s 58F in my office this morning and I’ve got a space heater about 2ft from me.
Better than feeling like Bob Crane, amirite ?
Are we talking Helga/Hilda smooching Bob Crane or murder victim Bob Crane?
It had to be a bittersweet ending.
And I thought 1 was a Heidi.
Good movie with Greg Kinnear, WTW.
Let’s not politicize leftist tyranny.
While officials in Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, and Tennessee have created ways to compensate workers who lost their jobs over a once-private medical decision, Ezekiel Emanuel said the unvaccinated don’t deserve any exceptions created based on “politics.”
“I don’t like this incentive at all. I think this basically says people are rejecting the vaccine mainly because they are against vaccinations are doing social harm, and now governors are rewarding them. That’s very bad sent incentive and just the opposite of what the country needs,” Emanuel said on CNN.
Emanuel also claimed that the Founding Fathers would have supported pushing people to get the COVID-19 jab.
“I don’t think it’s in the name of individual liberty. It’s in the name of politics,” he added.
All things considered, several of them would have personally bayoneted you in the throat for the mere suggestion of such a mandate.
That’s some wild bullshit right there. Washington alone would have kicked Emanuel’s ass for that.
Apparently my New Speak dictionary is outdated.
I would still oppose it. But, if the likes of Emanuel are going to push for mandates, I have an idea that might help quell some of the reluctance on the part of the vaccine hesitant. Since all right-thinking people know the vaccine is perfectly safe and only an inbred fool would worry about possible side effects, perhaps those advocating vaccine mandates could volunteer to accept legal and financial liability for any side effects or future consequences from the vaccine. All right thinking people know it would be a meaningless gesture with no potential downside, since, as I said, all right-thinking people know the vaccine is perfectly safe. So, how about it, Ezekial? Are you willing to put your house, retirement and kids inheritance on the line?