Wave a Lemon and Tap Your Nose

Day 3 in Tara’s adventures with Japanese grammar in the grocery store: The hunt for lemongrass.

After wandering around the store for twenty minutes looking for red curry paste, I decided I was not going to repeat the exercise trying to find lemongrass. I grabbed a lemon, walked up to a store clerk, said “sumimasen, lemongrass?” pointed at the herb section, waved my lemon and pointed to my nose.

We had a few moments of absolute befuddlement, then once he got onto the charades bandwagon, he seemed to figure out what I was talking about. He led me across the store (It’s a good thing I asked, I would never have found it on my own) to a wrack of dried spices, one of which read lemonogurasu on the side in katakana. score! Upside, I found what I was looking for, downside, if I’d just taken a stab at a Japanese pronunciation of lemongrass he’d probably have known what I was talking about. Oh well!

Making Curry Laksa soup for dinner and Molly and Danner are coming over. Unfortunately it appears that we decided to pack all of our dishware in the HHE, so we’re stuck with flintstone dishes for a while longer, but we have real sheets now!!

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1 Response to Wave a Lemon and Tap Your Nose

  1. Calley says:

    It’s awesome how often that “say the word with x accent” trick works. When I was in Costa Rica I’d take a stab at things like “game of the vid-ea-oes” for video game and was amazed at how often they’d nod and the conversation would trip merrily along 🙂 Chinese is definitely cracking me up with the pronounciations of American words, too. And how do they decide what’s the standard Chinese pronounciation of, say, celebrity figures? When does a celebrity get important enough to get a standard proununciation? The insoluble mysteries….

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