2007-10-24

Just Like an Indian Telemarketer

My husband Dave is our guest writer for this post. He has a lot to say.

When I was 15 years old I went to Japan for a few weeks as a foreign exchange student. The father of my host family was a teacher at a girls’ school and one day he brought me to his class. About halfway through the day he took everyone to the gym to play basketball. I mean, it was basketball inasmuch as there was a basket and a ball, but nothing else even remotely resembled it. Never once in their lives had these girls ever dribbled, shot, or passed a basketball. There was a lot of laughing but the ball and the basket never got close to each other. If you asked one of those girls back then if they played basketball they might say yes, but it wasn't really true.

Halloween in France is like that: It exists here, but not in any recognizable form. As far as I can tell there isn't really any Trick or Treating and I haven’t seen a single jack-o-lantern. People don’t seem to pass out candy, either. I mean, what’s the point?

To help right such wrongs, we’re hosting a Halloween party this Saturday. Since Sam is invited to a fake Halloween party on Saturday (one given by a French person), ours will be hosted by Abby and Sophie only. Every girl in their two classes has been invited. It’s juste pour les filles – “for the girls only”. Stasha wrote “Parlez Lentement SVP” on every invitation, meaning “Speak slowly please”. What a great idea.

In the invitations, Stasha also put down our phone number for people to RSVP. This was not a good idea, because it meant they might call, and I would have to speak on the phone.

Sophie and Abby passed out the invitations yesterday and last night the parents started calling. Sadly they must not have seen her request to speak slowly.

Remember a few years ago when companies started routing customer service calls to India? The agents hadn’t yet given themselves fake American names like Joe or Sally. Instead, they would answer the phone and say “Syank oo pour callig AT&T, miee name is Qwelstormophosopholes. Kin eye elp oo?”. Only they’d say it faster than a New Yorker in a hurry.

But now I’m in someone else's country so there is a reasonable expectation that I might have some idea what’s going on. Sadly that expectation cannot be met most of the time, and the RSVP calls are not going well. They say their name: Orellionne, Dieudonné, Valentine, Absolon, Donatienne, Ermenegilde, Marjolain, or Pétronille and I don’t understand it. Then they say their child’s name and I don’t understand it. Finally they say they’ll come to the party. Since those not coming don’t call, I understand that part. Then they start asking things like, “What gift should I bring for your daughters?” and “What should my daughter come dressed as?”

I take a deep breath. “How about she come as a Japanese basketball player or an Indian telemarketer?”

Labels: , , ,

7 Comments:

Blogger Courtney said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24.10.07  
Blogger Courtney said...

I am the deleted post. I was trying to edit my comment and I guess that isn't possible.

I get such a laugh reading your blog. Half the fun is picturing you both in these situations. Good luck with the party.

24.10.07  
Blogger Dave said...

When the woman said she wanted to bring a gift for Sophie I was just stuttering on the phone, trying to explain that it's not that kind of party. You don't bring gifts. It's a party for the people who COME, not for the people who throw it. She seemed to understand me, but I couldn't tell if she said she was going to bring a gift anyway...

24.10.07  
Anonymous littlest sister said...

:)
I hope you have fun. Are there candy corn in france? Probably not, and that's a real tragedy.

24.10.07  
Blogger Dave said...

I have not seen candy corn, which is a real tragedy. That would make a good post actually: the candy they don't have. However, I suspect they also don't have Peeps, and that can only be a good thing.

24.10.07  
Anonymous littlest sister said...

I agree about the peeps.

24.10.07  
Blogger Tina said...

This made me giggle for quite some time today. I CAN'T wait to see what they come dressed as. I wonder if American Halloween is more scary?!

26.10.07  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home