Saturday, February 20, 2010

FSO: First Stop Overseas

Hermosillo must be a destination for first-timers in the foreign service.

Back in January, Natalie helped arrange a lunch for a Hermosillo contingent, which comprises five A-100ers ranging from 145th to 148th (I think) who all are arriving in Hermosillo within a few months of each other.

(A long tangent: We ate at Chef Geoff's, which made me realize how impossible English must be to learn to read. We have no rules. How is Geoff pronounced Jeff and Gee Off? After all, it is pronounced geometry, not jemetry. The English are really poor when it comes to spelling proper names compared to how they are pronounced. Stephen and Steven is another one. Since when did "ph" sound like a "v?"

Natalie and I were in London once, and I recall a few stops on the Underground having six or seven silent consonants. But you don't have to go to England to see this kind of absurdity. Look at Worcester, Mass., pronounced Wooster. Where the hell did the "r" go?

By contrast, French has disappearing letters, too. For example, il parle (he speaks) and ils parlent (they, masculine, speak), but that is the rule. All regular verbs act that way. In short, English must be a bitch to learn to read.)

Back to the matter at hand. It was a great lunch because I got to meet several of the people we will be living near. About half are single, but there is an Eventual Friend in Mexico (EFM - woman) and My Outdoorsy Hoosier (MOH - man), whose girlfriend also was in Natalie's A-100 class.

I figure these two will be the most important friendships for the next couple of years because not only will they be two of the only English-speaking people I will know and we'll have lots of free time, most likely.

In all, it seems like a friendly group, and I'm glad I got first introductions out of the way before arriving in Mexico.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a poem that speaks somewhat to the issue of the English language. I first heard it in 6th grade (MANY years ago):

    When the English tongue we speak,
    Why is "break" not rhymed with "freak"?
    Will you tell me why it's true
    We say "sew" but likewise "few";
    And the maker of a verse
    Cannot rhyme his "horse" with "worse"?
    "Beard" sounds not the same as "heard";
    "Cord" is different from "word";
    Cow is "cow", but low is "low";
    "Shoe" is never rhymed with "foe".
    Think of "hose" and "dose" and "lose";
    And think of "goose" and yet of "choose".
    Think of "comb" and "tomb" and "bomb";
    "Doll" and "roll" and "home" and "some",
    And since "pay" is rhymed with "say",
    Why not "paid" with "said", I pray?
    We have "blood" and "food" and "good";
    "Mould" is not pronounced like "could".
    Wherefore "done" but "gone" and "lone"?
    Is there any reason known?
    And, in short, it seems to me
    Sounds and letters disagree.
    --Author Unknown