Lost in Translation

After a long day in the factory in Penang, I was eager to get back to the island (and my beautiful hotel). I frequently get the same drivers, which means that the long taxi ride is full of conversation, questions, and misunderstandings. While I enjoy this most of the time, some days I just want to hole up and fade out - especially when traffic makes the drive take almost 2 hours.

This day I was thankful to have a van all to myself with a driver who didn't speak much and had left an American movie playing on the abnormally large tv inside the van. I relaxed and settled in for what promised to be an amusing b-movie that was basically Jaws meets the Bayou. 

Swamp Shark was entertaining enough on its own (check out the trailer). It stars Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy!!!), was retitled in Japan as Frying Jaws, and features my favorite tag line, "Fresh water. Fresh meat." The best part, though, was that my driver had the volume up and the subtitles turned on. The subtitles were in English, but had pretty clearly been translated into Malay, and then back into English. The result was the most I've laughed on one of these trips. 

Verbal: "Go to Hell" 
Subtitle: "Fuck you"

Verbal: "Get off the wheel!"
Subtitle: "Let go of steering!"

Verbal: "He just got in the way"
Subtitle: "He walked in the road"

In response to, "Are you ready?"
Verbal: "As ready as I'm gonna be"
Subtitle: "To the extent possible"

Verbal: "I gotta lock up"
Subtitle: "I must conclude"

In response to a question he didn't know the answer to:
Verbal: "You got me"
Subtitle: "I ask myself the same question"

Verbal: "Oh God!"
Subtitle: "Jasses"

Yes, Jasses. 

I now have a strong affection for this movie. Might just have to by myself a copy. Wonder if I can find a copy here with the crazy subtitles. I'll host a screening back in SF :)

Going through some pics I found this shot I took while in the taxi. The top line is the actual dialogue. The bottom is the translation.



We Acted Upon in Good Faith and Entrusted Upon You

For whatever reason, a number of other people seem to use my email address. There's Monika Mielczarek, Monika Mihalisinova, Monika Meier, Monika Mitchell, and several more. These people legitimately believe my email address belongs to them. They frequently try to log in at gmail or facebook, and many of them have bills sent to my email. One man even emailed a sexy note as he was boarding his plane and about to return home to his Monika in London.

I have a label in my gmail account called "other Monika" where I store these. I try to reply to let the sender know they have the wrong address and inform the intended recipient, but much of the time that's not possible. Today's other Monika email had me laughing out loud.

Apparently, cell phone companies in India believe the best way to get paid is a guilt trip. I've highlighted my favorite lines in red for those of you who just want to skim. :)

We state that we are Cellular Mobile Telephony Service provider in the Delhi and NCR.We state that you had approached and requested us to provide you our cellular mobile phone facility. Relying upon your representation and assurance, we provided the said facility to you, with the clear understanding that you shall pay the bills on or before the due date. We state that you have availed the facility but, in breach of the aforesaid representation and promises made by you, you have failed and neglected to pay the amount of Rs. 2292/ - which is due and payable. 
We state that in spite of our repeated reminder and request to pay the aforesaid amount, you have failed and neglected to pay the said amount till date. We state that from the aforesaid, it is apparent that you have intentionally and deliberately not paid the said amount for the facility used by you. We state that as on 18/06/2013 a sum of Rs. 2292/- is due and payable by you. 
We state that believing your representations to be true, we acted upon in good faith and entrusted upon you with our cellular mobile phone facility, which you put into extensive use and accumulated huge amount. 
In the circumstances, we hereby call upon you to pay the sum of Rs. 2292/- together with accrued interest thereon @ 18% p.a. from the respective due date till the full & final payment, within 7 days from the date of receipt of this notice, failing which we shall be constrained to initiate Civil and/or Criminal proceedings against you, entirely at your risk as to cost and consequences, which please note. 
We state that without prejudice to our rights, if you are willing to make the aforesaid payment, within the stipulated time, you are requested to contact on 9811801114, 9811429429 between 10 AM to 5 PM . Yours truly,For Vodafone Mobile Services Limited

Such a nice mix of formalities and snarkiness. Love.