There seems to be a little madame living in my head, who connects thoughts and leads them in the right direction. Like in the old days, the switchboard operator girl. Way before mobile phones started to be modern and smartphones took over our ability to think, there was a time when you would call from your home the central office in an attempt to get linked with another person by phone. The eagerly working madame who would answer your phone call first, was sitting in front of a maze of cables and connections and even through these she -mostly- found the right connection for you.
Such a madame seems to be working feverishly -and probably underpaid- on the connectionrequests and leaps of thoughts that I am producing. She works ambitiously in her neatly trimmed clothes and sometimes a little laughter slips her mouth when she hasn’t made the right neural connection and everything ends up in a big mishmash.
I sat in the taxi to get to work. Already for two hours as we were stuck in traffic. The driver had answered with saintly patience all my ennerving foreigner questions such as „What is this building?“ and „How do you say this and that in Dari?“. He had even entrusted me with some of his family history and background. We had become travel companions enduring the traffic jam and passing the time together. As we got closer to my workplace I had asked him for his name and decided to make him a compliment on it:
„Your name is beautiful!“
He looked at my puzzled and didn’t answer whatsoever. I felt a bit uncertain but decided to try it again as I could not be sure whether it was due to my strong German accent or to the noise of the motor that he hadn’t understood me.
“Nam-e-shoma seb ast! – your name is beautiful!“
I added the english version to it, to bring my statement across. He burst out laughing.
‘Seb is a word that exists in many languages. In Hungarian it means beautiful. A word, that I had heard in different contexts when visiting friends in Budapest. But in Urdu (one of the languages in Pakistan) and Dari (the afghan dialect of Persian) ‘seb’ means apple. I had just explained to the driver that his name was apple!
Naughty little switchboard girl in my head! What a devastating beat up have you given my smattering! I bet you had fun in this moment…