On language

After one month it’s become clear that I’ve been subconsciously hoping that I was, at soul, fluent. That after a few weeks of verbal stumbling along one day I’d open my mouth and all this forgotten language would gush out with perfect accent, perfect pitch and I’d be witty and interesting in Wolof and French. It didn’t happen exactly that way so, onward language lessons ahoy. I am finding them adventurous somewhat and I do enjoy learning but I’m impatient because there is so much to do, and more easily done if I could communicate better, or at all. I long for the future of cyberpunk when I can lie back, plug in and upload a language program directly into my brain, a la the Matrix, or have a memory chip inserted like Hiro Protagonist. But I begrudgingly guess the reward is in the struggle and muddle and study until you finally have that aha moment, that epiphany, the hard shell cracking before you in all its pearly glory.

And this is why I came here, to be out of my element. To live in a place where it would take real commitment to be complacent. The frustrations pale next to the payoffs, when things I agonized over in my last life, things I tossed and turned and petitioned, some of those thank god are but shadows of dreams.


  • Sara R


    O Kari, I had to respond, though must admit that my subject is very off topic from yours.

    I went to the Renaissance Faire this weekend, and rented a wench costume. I thought it was very nifty until I actually entered the faire, upon which I felt like a black and white person at a public terminal. It was very clear that the people in the know at the faire had invested in very fancy costumes, and could tell immediately that I had simply rented.

    I told this story at the office yesterday and no one understood the snow crash reference. Thus, reading your post I just had to relate ! :)

    • Kari


      a neil stephenson fan and a fellow TCK, we are kindred indeed. how was the faire?

  • Mom


    Such prose – you sure didn’t get that from me!

  • Szavanna


    Heyy – fantastic blog – hope you are having a great time learning wolof and french – I just decided yesterday that I am gonna wake up my french knowledge – how nice it would be yes ala matrix hehe and also my Arabic ….anyways just wanted to say hello :)) greetings from South Africa et a tres bientot :)


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