Tuesday, November 28, 2006

From First Date to Eternal Mate

So, the local bookstores here sell all kinds of English phrase books--businessman English, student English, construction worker English (I kid you not). When I pick up these books and rifle through them, as I frequently do, looking for mistakes, I like to imagine the given phrases in sequence as an actual dialogue instead of isolated phrases; it's much funnier that way. If you read it the right way, one I picked up recently, about dating, tells a quite engrossing story of a relationship, start to finish. Without further ado, then, and without changing anything about these phrases, including their printed order in the book, I give you scenes from "Dating in English 2: The Return of the Killer Pickup Line."

(All right, I made up the title. But the book is real!)

Scene 1: Meet and Greet, the Honest Way
You're cute.
I want to know more about you.
Come on, tell me more.
Don't be shy.
Ask me some questions.
Ask me anything you want.
Except what color underwear I'm wearing.

Scene 2: How to Impress the Ladies
What do you study at college?
I went to a special business/trade school.
How do you do at school?
Poor.
Terrible.
Very bad.
I must work harder.
I'm a bad student.
I don't like studying.
Studying is the last thing I wanna do.
I didn't get any credits last semester.
I'm taking a semester off.
I failed in all the subjects I took.
I have to repeat the courses.
I never attended the lectures.
I'm too lazy.

Scene 3: With Enough Alcohol, She Likes You Anyway
Let's sit close to the bar.
Free drinks are over there.
Can we buy beer here?
The drinks here taste terrible!
This is not very strong.
They serve weak drinks here.
Ask for stronger drinks.
Stronger drinks, please.
Please make this drink stronger.
If I get drunk, that's okay.

Scene 4:Not a Back Seat Type of Girl
We've known each other for three months.
We can make it work.
I want to know what you're feeling.
I can't think of anything but you.
Say you'll be mine.
I'll make you happy.
I never felt this way before.
Look into my eyes.
Stay just a little bit longer.
Let's find a good place.
How do you know about this kind of place?
People can see us here!
That'll make it more exciting.
Let's get in the back seat.
Let's recline the front seats.
Take your shoes off.
Relax.
Enjoy yourself.
I'm cold.
Make me warm.

Scene 5: In America, Girls Spend the Night in the Front Seat
Stay with me tonight.
I can't, my dad is expecting me at home.
I have to be home by midnight.
Are you kidding? This isn't America!
In Indonesia, girls have got to be home by this time.

Scene 6: The Easy Way Out
Are you telling me you don't love me anymore?
You lied to me.
Stop lying to me.
Everything you've ever said is a lie.
You messed up my life.
You're so selfish!
Don't tell me what to do.
Don't try to change me.
Leave me alone.
Stop checking up on me.
Don't pretend nothing happened!
Think about the way you treated me!
Don't act like my wife!
Yes, I'm already married.
I tried to tell you many times, but I couldn't.
Let's change the subject.

Scene 7: She Says With a Gleam in Her Eye...
I know I hurt your feelings.
I didn't mean to.
Let's get back together.
I'll do anything to make you forgive me.
Anything?

Scene 8: That's Right, Minimize the Wedding Laundry
When do you want to get married?
Are you trying to propose to me?
What's the question?
What's the answer?
Will you use my last name?
Are you a Christian or a Buddhist?
I'm a Muslim.
Should we have a Javanese or an American style wedding?
What's the difference?
Which one is cheaper?
Which one do you prefer?
Whichever doesn't require me to keep changing clothes.

Scene 9: Now That We're Married, I thought I'd Ask
How many times a day do you take a shower?
It depends, but usually just once.
I spend all day in an air-conditioned room, so I don't need to shower twice.
Westerners don't really like bathing anyway.
The thing is, Indonesians are obsessed by bathing.
Bathing is very important for us, because we live in a tropical country.

5 comments:

Marg said...

those are some of the funniest things i've ever read.

alea said...

I think Indonesians do the whole "example" thing best. Did you know that masaging your stomach could damage your uterus?

Anonymous said...

What about the scene titles? Were those part of the book, or did you add them?

Tolkien Boy said...

Bathing is often more important in cold, damp, clammy countries. I say this because I bathe twice a day to get the cold out.

Melyngoch said...

I'm taking close notes for the next time I see Ginsberg.

(Make me warm, Ginsberg, make me warm.)