BARISTA (over drive-through speaker): What can I get for you today?
ME: A venti whole-milk latte, please.
BARISTA (cheerfully): OK, a grande mocha frappucino, and what else?
Silence ensues for a couple of seconds while I try to process what just happened. Finally…
ME: No, I want a VEN..TI…WHOLE…MILK…LATTE.
BARISTA (still cheerfully): OK, a grande whole milk latte.
ME: A VEN…TI…whole milke latte.
BARISTA: Oh, a VENTI whole milk latte.
ME (in relief): Yes, that’s right, thanks.
BARISTA: And can we get you anything else besides the two drinks?
Took this one myself outside a restaurant down on Kirby here in Houston.
Don’t have time for a full travelogue right this second, but this photo spectacularly illustrates the danger of doing your own translation into a language you don’t know when armed only with a dictionary. The proper translation of the first highly ornate yellow section heading would have been “Toast.” Unfortunately the translator only got as far as the first character in his Chinese/English dictionary. I wish you could have seen the face of the waitress when we told her what her menu said…
My kids get tired, I’m sure, of my speech about how every day will give you something to complain about and be miserable over, and something to be grateful for and be joyful over, and you get to choose which you pay attention to. They probably wish Louis was their dad instead of me because when HE gives that speech, it’s, you know, FUNNY.
This really is great stuff, don’t miss it.