Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Language Nuance

It began with a simple misunderstanding of the word "walk." I should have known that it meant something more strenuous than a simple hike o'er rolling hills. It was, in fact, a rather rugged adventure covering several hundred feet in altitude from a jungle-like floor to an isolated mountain top...and back down...and back up...and, well, you get the picture. I had been working out on a stair climbing machine since January so it was not arduous. It all worked out...but then, I couldn't find " the fountain."
The streets on Crete, like in so many other "Old World" places are very narrow...I mean ten feet wide at best. As a result, the buildings are very close, and a landmarks are difficult to see. Couple that with the fact that streets are laid out almost haphazardly. Instead of in square blocks, and getting around can be a challenge. Locals will refer to landmarks like churches and fountains. Fine for them,but when there are five churches every six blocks, I get easily confused. Then, there's the fountain.
We we looking for a specific restaurant: hidden away behind the locally famous fountain. We asked five or six people, all of whom gave explicit directions involving this local landmark, but we spent a long time wandering the twisting "streets" without any luck. Passing the same ice cream spot for the fifth time, I happened to look to my right,and there was a seven-foot tall, eight-foot wide block of concrete...out of which ran three streams of water into the gutter from a height of two feet or so. This is a fountain? Where was the jet of water shooting majestically ten feet into the air and falling back into a reflecting pool?
This reminds me of my first experiences as a high school student in Wisconsin when I easier for a "water fountain" only to be directed eventually to something called a "bubbler" or asking for a coke and being told that only "soda" was available.
But at least in those situations, I could find landmarks!
Travel is a broadening experience, the say the least...I've begun not understand why worry beads are so popular here!


Post a Comment

<< Home