I’m sitting here this morning listening to Ada talk to her computer laptop . There is a picture of one of her good friends over in Poland on the screen . Actually , Ada is using Skype to talk to her , which usually works pretty well , and doesn’t cost anything when both parties are on computers . The woman’s face is pictured in a round frame . She’s not moving . Maybe the camera on her computer isn’t working , or else she didn’t push the right button to show herself in real time . Her voice comes to us over those thousands of miles loud and clear . In Polish .
I don’t speak Polish . My excuse is that , until recent years , I’ve never been over there long enough to pick up the language . In Arcadia I seldom hear Polish spoken .
Ada chastises me from time to time for my lingo-ignorance : ” After all these years together……………….” I should know Polish . She’s right , in a certain way of thinking , of course .
I’m lazy , you should know . That plays a roll . If I had any lingo -ambition I’d speak fluent Spanish by now , for example , having lived most of my life in southern California . I speak some Spanish . Only some . I should learn Spanish and then try to learn Polish .
Poles , generally , speak Russian and or English as well as their own language , and possibly some German or French and/or other languages . My niece speaks Polish , Danish , French , English , and probably Spanish and German too , and maybe Russian . She looked at me in astonishment once , asking ” You speak only English ? ” Yeah.
Well , a little Spanish , too , and I can order a beer in German and Swedish . Does that count ? I know how to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in Korean and Georgian and Chinese , and I can say ‘ Hello , how are you ?’ in Armenian . That must count for something .
I bought a book in Poland last year called ” Learn Polish in Four Weeks “. I told the clerk at the bookstore in Szczecin that I’d be back in four weeks and have a conversation with him . He didn’t seem to understand enough English to realize that I was trying to make a joke . I think he thought I was a bit crazy , but he sold me the book anyway .
That was last year . I’ve been working my way through those four weeks . I think I’m about two and a half weeks into it . Weeks turn into months . They should have entitled the book , perhaps , ” Learn a Little Bit of Polish in Four Years “.
I’m searching the internet , now , for a good Polish course . I’ll give the whole thing another try . Meanwhile , I should study my Spanish texts a little , too , I suppose .
I’ll head for the refrigerator , meanwhile , grab a cerveza , and think about it . What was the Polish word for ‘refrigerator’ ? It’s on the tip of my tongue .