Reason #1 billion why it’s not easy to write characters from another countryOctober 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Posted in real life | 2 Comments
Tags: cultural differences
I apologise in advance for the use of capslock in this post, but it has to be done. I can’t adequately express my frustration any other way, I’m afraid.
SCENE: America, our Aussie heroine’s hotel room. Because this room is a long-stay room (OAH likes staying long in America) it has a kitchenette. OAH crawls from her bed, cursing the fact that it is not yet Friday, and looks forward to some peanut butter on toast to make the morning better. She plugs the toaster into the wall, but lo, the toaster is not working. After several unsuccessful attempts to get the toaster to work, and testing the coffee maker out and having that not work either, OAH has muesli bars instead, which are completely unsatisfying. She rings the hotel’s reception desk.
OAH: Hi. The powerpoint in my kitchen isn’t working.
Hotel Employee: the what isn’t working?
OAH: The powerpoint. In my kitchen.
HE: The what?
OAH: THE POWERPOINT. *desperately tries to think of what it could be called in American, fails miserably*
HE: *long pause* I’m sorry, the what?
OAH: *DIES INSIDE* YOU KNOW, THE THING IN THE WALL YOU PLUG APPLIANCES INTO TO GET THEM TO WORK.
HE: Oh! I’ll get someone up to fix that for you.
OAH: Thank you! *hangs up, goes to work*
SCENE: OAH’s American workplace.
OAH to Favourite American Colleague: So the powerpoint in my kitchen isn’t working, couldn’t have toast this morning. The girl at the hotel’s front desk didn’t know what a powerpoint was when I asked her to fix it.
FC: What a what was?
OAH: *DIES INSIDE AGAIN* You know, the powerpoint, the thing in the wall you plug appliances into to get them to work.
FC: Oh! You mean the electrical outlet!
OAH: YES. YES, I MEAN THE ELECTRICAL OUTLET. Thank God we have finally bridged this massive gulf between our countries.
Incidentally, regardless of what the bloody thing is called it’s still not working. I’m not ringing them. I’ll make toast on the bloody bedside table tomorrow.