Saturday, May 26, 2007

Do you speak English? pt. 2

I went to a deli the other day, the kind where they assemble a sandwich per your instruction from behind a glass counter. First, I had to choose my type of bread. They had a bread that vaguely looked whole wheat, so I asked for the wheat bread. "Okay," said the woman, and she grabbed what looked like (to me) white bread. "No no--can I have that bread?" I pointed at the wheat bread.
"Oh, you mean the oat bread." she said. Things went along okay, as I remembered to pronounce the t in chicken fillet (rhymes with millet in Australian, not ballet). But then we got to the cheese section, and things became difficult. None of the cheeses looked terribly appealing, but there was an orange cheddar type cheese, so I asked for cheddar. The woman began to put this waxy white cheese on my sandwich.
"No wait--I want the orange one instead, what's that called" I said.
"Oh, you mean the Old English" she replied, giving me a bemused look. Next I asked for green bell pepper, and she stared at me like she had no clue what I was talking about. Finally, after more gesturing and pointing on my part, she said, "Oh, you mean the capsicum."

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