Friday, March 07, 2008

New Vocabulary

Over the last several weeks, my friends and I have been coming up with new words to represent things and feelings that don't exist in the United States. I am putting a few below.
  • ahspeedbump (perhaps the most often used of our new vocabulary) means the feeling of when you are approaching a speed bump and you are going too fast and don't have time to slow down. [There are speedbumps everywhere.]
  • mudding is the precipation of mud in the place of rain. While rain and snow do exist, the amount of dust blown up from the south sits over our city and then is joined with a little moisture which descends on everyone and everthing. Nearly every car in the city is the exact same shade of tan.
  • archiumphl is the feeling of congestion in the throat and lungs when a combination of dust and illness attack.
  • electrament is the feeling of novelty when the power goes out. This state of functioning wears off over time until one does not "miss a beat" or even pause during a conversation which is then continuing in the dark.
  • visorate is the effect of seeing your breath in a room that experience would tell us is not actually cold enough. It undoubtedly has something to do with humidity, but an interesting phenomenon all the same.

There are some concepts that we have yet to invent words for. As an example, the feeling of taking a shower with cold water and yet the shower still gets steamy (it isn't actually that hot yet, but I experienced it before). Another one along the same track is when you put on your clothes and they feel like they came out of the dryer although they really just came out of your closet. If you have any suggestions, please comment.

1 comment:

Nick Jesch said...

These crack me up....perfect response to strange cultural/geographical phenomenon. The speedbump one is especially cute...reminds me of my car journey through Mexico and into Guatemala. EVERY town had speedbumps...with no clue of their impending arrival and resultant doom-wreaking. Some of them were CRAZY big, too. See it in time, slow to a crawl, bump the front tyres against it, on throttle, creep up, brake as you crest, slowly let the front wheels off the top....and slowly power ahead, dragging the entire bottom of the car along the top of the speedbump. We were in a bit Mercedes, we watched as a few Hondas literally got high centred on some of them. In Ecuador they call them "sleeping policemen", in Mexico they are just "topes". Miserable by any name. In the States no town would dare install such things, as there exist a horde of lawyers eagerly awaiting the opportunity to bring suit against the city for maintaining a hazard. This could never happen in Latin America, as the driver is ALWAYS at fault, the government NEVER.