Mink Machine

On the desert road

I just got back to civilization (sort of) after a dry bus ride through the Atlas mountain range. As the bus winded up the narrow roads along the mountain side, I caught myself thinking of the scene in Babel where the woman got shot through the window. She was a tourist passing through these areas by bus and the scene was shot in this area of Morocco.

Fortunately nobody got shot this time, but a young woman on the seat behind me collapsed onto the floor and was unconscious for five minutes before we managed to bring her back to life. Since I was one of very few foreigners on the bus there were some barriers with language and culture, but the whole bus got engaged and helped out.

Atlas mountains Passing through the Atlas mountains.

The title of the mentioned movie allude to the tower of Babel. It’s a wonder how much language means to humans in everyday life. My Arabian knowledge is laughable but even an initial “as-salaam alaykum” greeting and a “choukran” ending will give you better reception than croaking something in broad American English.

It is often difficult to learn new languages, but don’t give up since it will help you to better understand and learn from other cultures.

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5 comments

  • avatar
    18 Mar, 2008

    You spend an entire blog post talking about a movie and language, and then end it with a woman fighting for her life, as if the most important thing was language. Either you have some really mixed up priorities in life, or you’re just trying to piss us off by hinting at the drama we so want to hear about, but boring us with inane stuff instead.
    Really. Can we hear about the dramas? That’s so much more interesting. :-)

  • avatar
    Emelie
    19 Mar, 2008

    I doubt she was fighting for her life, more along the lines of drinking too little and not being used to a warm climate.
    Anyway. I agree about the language thing, even if you know just a little, people are more than happy to help with pronounciation and new words, so not only is it fun to know, but it makes people open up to you!

  • avatar
    22 Mar, 2008

    She had recently been to a hospital for something (couldn’t understand exactly what it was), but the heat didn’t make her trip easier since she was wearing a thick turtleneck sweather.

  • avatar
    Mandus
    31 Mar, 2008

    I guess the turtleneck (can you say that?) was bullet proof.

  • avatar
    01 Apr, 2008

    Smart thinking!

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