Sunday, October 3, 2010

Much more interesing than mere words

Today I had a delightful “conversation” with this dear woman. She does not speak a single word of English, and I speak shamefully little Kinyarwanda. But she is so spectacularly expressive, and my pantomime has so greatly improved, it seemed as though we could have negotiated peace for the Middle East. It is said that “Only 20% of communication is accomplished by words.” I believe it.

I wanted to buy her old worn pipe because I have decided to collect them. They cost only $1 “brand new”, but she wanted $2, NOT because she was trying to rip off her new best friend, but because if she sold me her pipe she would have to suffer days (without smoking) until she was able to purchase another one. It was then that I realized that my offer was grossly inappropriate.

While we were “communicating”, this gentleman passed by after spending the afternoon in the local Banana Beer Tavern. He was not as skilled a communicator,… I just understood something about having had only two beers.