Friday, December 29, 2006

Vacation Face

(written by special guest writer Petra's Mother, edited by Petra)

To fully appreciate Petra's vacation adventure one needs to understand the nuances of Petra's vacation face. I do not know if non-family members have ever seen this face but I can attest to its frequent presence during our perambulations together.

Here is the face:

Here are the situations in which the face appears:

1) "He is speaking a foreign language." Petra's linguistic talents do not come from her paternal genes. PatrusPetra believes that every language in the world can be pronounced using a loud voice and either an American English or an Argentinian Spanish accent. Thus, the German word for "street", strasse (editor's note: that final e is a schwa) is said, loudly, as either "strays" or "strawsee" (accent and hand gesture on the last syllable). Petra's vacation visage was particularly present when Patrus, inspired by the German all around him, produced the one German word he remembered from his college days: schadenfreude. Over the course of the 10 day vacation poor Petra, the linguist, had to hear this word pronounced variously, and at top volume, as: "sa-chen-den-froy-dee", "skan-ten-de-fru-dee", and "se-che-ne-da-fro-how-you-say-it."
2) "She is doing math again." Petra's mathematical skills do not come from her maternal genes. MatrusPetra believes that every math problem in the world can be solved with enough creative narrative around the problem. Thus the Rock's vacation face appeared often as Matrus recounted how a salary of 15,000 a year was a good amount of money, working out to 5000 a month, how the 8 hour flight from Vienna to New Delhi really turned out to be a 6 and 1/2 hour flight (3 and 1/2 hours is halfway) and how something that costs 34 euros works out to be 15,000 Indian rupees which works back to being about 200 US dollars. (editor's note: You can check the exchange rates for this one to experience your very own vacation face!)
3) "The Sound of Music Bus Tour." A huge tour bus. Noisy, fat Americans. Painted scenes of Maria and 7 von Trapp children in curtain clothes. A flamboyant tour director explaining why "we LOVE this movie so much." Matrus singing along to the soundtrack as the bus drives through Salzburg. Heard enough? Vacation face.

A face to make a mother proud. Thanks for coming on our vacation, Petra.


Katie said...

I feel your pain. In my last semester at Weberland, there was a woman in my writing workshop class who used the word schadenfreude on a daily basis. Such pain! My first reaction (mental, of course), after a while, was "I'll schadenfreude you!", but that seemed counterproductive somehow . . .

Also, my dad believes that anything can be pronounced with an American English or a French accent--a funny combination that makes him sound ignorant or snobbish, depending on the context.

(It's a fact, all you Francophiles. Everything sounds distinctly more snobbish when pronounced with a French accent.)

Thus, my great delight in purposefully mispronouncing the store name Sur La Table as Sir La Tay-bull (emphasis on the bull).

JB said...

A post by the mother of the rock!! Cool! :)