Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh


After months of dodging the requests, I find myself hosting weekly ‘English Conversation’ sessions with some local folks. Lord help us all.

I mean I can speak English, but please don’t ask me to explain sentence structures and tenses, and such things. During our Bangla classes someone actually had to explain to me what an infinitive is. And infinitive, or infinitive verb? See I don’t even know what to call them.

In the spirit of some kind of preparation to limit the disaster, I asked to see an English text book. I have been given an ‘English Word Book’, My favourite part so far of the Word Book is the ‘idioms and sayings’ section. It contains useful explanations to sayings such as:

All in all:  All in all he is in the family.

And sayings you just couldn’t get by without, such as:

Finger’s end: Your statement is my finger’s end.

Bear in mind this is an official school curriculum text book. Well, luckily for me no one will be able to notice the total hash I’ll make of things if this is their starting/reference point. But despite all my apparent lackings in the English department, it’s fun and a nice way to try and give something back to the people here.

And I’ve noticed my pronunciation of certain words has changed in order to get my English understood here. I no longer pronounce it ‘iron’, I say eye-rrronn. As in ‘the water is full of eye-rrronn’. Or ‘my eye-rrronn is no longer working because it’s a piece of electrical shit made in China’.

Speaking of electrical pieces of shit made in China, I’ve eventually had my hurricane lamp fixed. The shop man refused to swap it for me, mainly because I had already been through his entire stock of non-working hurricane lamps. So I took it to ‘the man welding something together in a deep freezer with a blow torch’ around the corner. Turns out not only was the battery faulty, the charge cable was also faulty. Expecting the only other component, the bulb, to blow any day soon.


1 Comment»

  Lorna wrote @

Oh Stella, sounds like you may have become scottish!!!

My mum says eeeye-ron…..despite the fact that she sounds english for everything else!!

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