Thursday, 20 January 2011

A week of "Lost in Translation" moments...


And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So tonight, rather than recount the work, exercise (which was ZERO today), or movie-watching that transpired, I thought I'd present the 4 highlight moments of the week. Some of these are just funny. Others are truly "Lost in Translation" moments.

Monday - "I think it's your accent" - So Monday started off with a bang. I conducted the inaugural "Ben Admin Team Meeting," and I was determined to really "bring the team together" and have them "rally behind Sammy and his fun leadership style." Things started off good - everyone was laughing, I was hitting on some good points, and all in all I felt I was really making friends. That, dear friends, is when we went slightly off course...

Sammy (speaking to someone in Hong Kong): "Winny, let's get an update from you - how are the Siebel cases coming?"

Winny: (Silence for about 5 seconds)

Sammy: "Winny, are you still there?" (Silence) "I think we lost her."

Evelyn (another teammate in the room): "I think it's just your accent." (turns to phone) "Winny, are you there?"


Evelyn: "Can you please give us an update on the Siebel cases?"

Winny: "Sure!"

What's odd here is that, whilst both Winny and Evelyn speak Cantonese, they DID NOT SPEAK CANTONESE TO COMMUNICATE during the "translation" period. OH NO - they were still speaking English. That's right - I just had my first ever "English to Singlish" translation.

Incidentally, since then I've learned that most folks are complaining that they have NO IDEA what I'm saying and that I'm a mumbler. A quote from one of my folks: "I have no idea what he says to me. I just know that when other folks laugh I should laugh." Wild Card - fret not - it's ALL UNDER CONTROL...

Tuesday: Fizzy's BEST LINE EVER

So Tuesday was D-Day for Fizzy and Lori, and I attended the call they ran about new tools we're rolling out in March. Now I think we can all agree (including Liz) that she has no trouble projecting her voice, and this made her opening line from her presentation the QUOTE OF THE MONTH. Liz introduces herself at full volume and then looks down at the polycom and says, "I'm not sure if you guys can hear me in Japan." Fizzy - I can confirm that they absolutely could... :-) You know I love you!

Wednesday: My first bag experience

So seriously, I think we've established by now that Sugar Cane Juice (which I described to Jackie as "watered down Crystal Light" - but seriously, it's GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD...peppy cheekies) is the greatest drink ever (sweet nectar was Shogun's colorful description). However, I was given a LIFE CHANGING treat Wednesday when my teammates brought some food back to me. How did the sugar cane juice come back? IN A BAG, BABY!!! THAT'S RIGHT - THAT'S HOW I ROLL!!!! Now that I know it's transportable - fat cells beware...

Thursday - You do WHAT with these little red envelopes?

So today I'm sitting in the office when the office manager walks by with 2 sets of red envelopes with BAML letterhead. I have heard of the mysterious red envelopes, but honestly I had no idea what you were supposed to do with them. But DON'T WORRY...I soon found out.

Sam: "I've heard about these. What do I do with them?"

Teammate: "You put money in them for good luck."

Sam: "Riiiiiight. But I'm cheap. There are like 20 envelopes here."

Teammate: "Oh, you will need more. You have to give them to everyone younger than you."

Sam: "I'm the 4th oldest person in an office of 100 people."

Teammate: (laughing) "Yeah!"

Sam: (not laughing) "Is this for real?"

Teammate: "And you have to give one to everyone who's single, too."

Sam: "I think I'm the only guy in the office married."

Teammate: (not listening) "Oh, and you should give them to your entire team. Last year the boss gave $10."

Sam: (in shock - no other way to describe it) "There are 10 people on my team."

Teammate: "Yes, but you have to. It's for good luck."

Note to the group - if you read about an American getting caned, you'll know it's me because I robbed an HSBC to try and pay for my Chinese New Year obligations.
Dinner tonight was AMAZING. We went to a place called Samy's Curry (that's right - it's how I roll), where Biju (who speaks Tamil) ordered for us. I gotta tella ya, this place was AWESOME.
The flavor was amazing (Muffin - just like Spice Junction), the lime juice superb, and the Kingfisher Extra Sout was SOLID (no pun intended). I had 3 beers tonight, which takes my grand total to 9 PINTS IN 15 DAYS here in Singapore. I think I did 21 pints in my first WEEK in London. I am a new man!
Samy's Curry is on Dempsey Hill (same place as the Thai-German Microbrewery), the site formerly occupied by British Military Barracks. In fact, all of the restaurants are in the old blocks, and this was block 25. Honestly, it was some of THE BEST Indian EVER. And to top it all off - we ate on REAL BANANA LEAVES!
So there you have it - 4 days, 4 classic moments. And now if you'll excuse me - it's time to watch "Tropic Thunder." I have a feeling this will SUCK - but at least it was free.
VFF Update:
Color - CHECK - Big time
P - still a no go
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and (enjoying her LAST SLEEP before she hops a plane to be with Husband Bear!) Jenny

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