Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"After tomorrow"

When the Fiance of the Blog and I were in India, we encountered an interesting linguistic phenomenon: In Hindi--at least in the part of the country we visited--the words for "tomorrow" and "yesterday" were identical. Hmmm. That's leaning awfully hard on context, isn't it? And as you might imagine, this non-distinction played out in real life, too, as "wait a half-hour" usually became "we just waited five hours."

Well. In Abu Dhabi there is a similar phenomenon. If someone says to you that X or Y will happen "after tomorrow," it doesn't mean it will happen two days from then. No. It is literal. X or Y will definitely take place... some undefined time in the future. All that is certain is that it won't happen tomorrow.

As I type this, it is about 11:15 a.m. in the newsroom. I was told Thursday to show up Sunday at 9:30 and a car would take me to get fingerprinted. On Sunday I was told "tomorrow." Now it's Tuesday, and my 9:30 car ride got postponed to 11... and then 11:30.

Fortunately the coffee guys are working full force this morning.

Edit to add: Now it's "noon" and "why don't you give me your mobile number and we'll call you."

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