Monday, September 18, 2006

I Need My Secret Decoder Ring

The woman at the laundromat is trying to tell me something. I don't mean psychically, and I'm not cracking up. I mean that she's actually trying to speak to me, but due to the fact that she is Haitian and I don't speak patois, I have no idea what she's saying.

She seems to think we're friends though. She's always delighted to see me. And I can sort of tell from the inflection of what she's trying to say that she approves of my sartorial choices.

We did have a bad patch there, when I threw an empty box of Tide into the trash outside instead of the indoor trash at the laundromat, but I think we've moved past it. She spoke English that time, for a couple words. I managed to make up out "NO" and "BUSINESS TRASH" and "INDOORS." I'd like to reciprocate, and learn a couple words in patois, just in the name of politeness.

I'd start with whatever the translation for "I'M READING" is, or maybe: "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE SAYING. PLEASE GO AWAY."


  1. iPod + sunglasse + (und) "Sprachen zee Deutsche?" (or shake head and utter "da, da, da.")

  2. Patois is usually the Carribbean bastardization of English. Since it's very similiar, I doubt you'd have trouble figuring it out. ("What dim say, mon?" and "Gimi da wee!" and stuff like that.)

    It sounds like she's speaking Haitian creole (kreyĆ²l ayisyen). Try writing "v regret mwen pa ka domi mwen pa two byen kite m souple" on a piece of paper, see if that works.

    The grammer is almost definately proper fucked but the general idea should be, "I'm sorry, I didn't sleep and I don't feel well, please leave me alone."