First language class

Today, after four months in Aceh I had my first language class. My brain hurts. Unfortunately I appear to have been born without the slightest gift for languages. A shame really considering that I seem compelled to go to places where people don’t speak English as their first language.

My teacher worked hard to correct my accent, which is apparently more Medanese that Acehnese. That will come in handy the next time I am in Medan, but for now I really need to nail the Acehnese accent. I had a hard time explaining that my inability to roll my ‘r’s is not a new discovery. I realised this deficiency first when learning Italian in year 8 and later when learning Turkish. Apparently a fair bit of Italian blood wasn’t enough to ensure the gift of the rolling ‘r’.

Speaking of Italian, some Italians dropped into the office earlier this week to talk about post-conflict projects. When they discovered that my surname was Fortuna they asked me all the usual questions like where I was from, which part of Italy, which part of Sicily…etc. etc. but the conversation quickly degenerated into, “why can’t you speak Italian” and “why don’t you know anything about Italy”. Sorry guys…

Thanks to those who skyped me the other day. My colleagues in the office were so excited to see my family, especially my Ibu (mother). I was particularly pleased to see cute kids and Jess’s belly. And most importantly, my friends were jealous that I was so loved! I have established that the skype sound problems rest with my computer, but have no idea how to fix them. The sound works in pretty much everything else, although a little while ago I couldn’t hear anything when I played DVDs. Any ideas of what to try? The computer thinks all components are functioning normally.

More generally I think my computer is on the brink of a total breakdown. If it were human I imagine it would be hiding in the toilets crying and binge drinking after work.

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