At Enoteca Vespaio this weekend one of the other guests had mentioned the mysterious fricative consonant unique to Czech: ř. I had been thinking about this sound and the statement “Language X has difficult sound Y” ( particularly the hard “g” in Dutch ) and how one acquires the ability to reproduce that sound in the intervening days and decided that I would like to hear that sound in person.
Fortunately, one of my peers in my C++ class is Czech and I knew I could go to the source. After class I leaned across the table and I asked said lady, “Say, I heard that in Czech you have a consonant that no other..”
”[to Lauren] That’s it, she said it!”
“…ř?( with that amazing Eastern European look that implies they are concerned but not surprised you just sprouted a third eye )”
In any case, we chatted some more about life sans vowels ( including her running off an intelligible sentence about snails in the mist that had no vowels ) and she invited us to join her friends and husband for dinner at the Baby Acapulco near the Gateway center. We did and had a very fun time.
But now check this out
During my blog-redesign hiatus I ran into a friend I made at UT in the Dutch program and who I’d lost track of since my departure from Austin. Over at her place with her awesome roommates we listened to Bjork’s Homogenic, watched the terrible programming of Dutch SBS6, had parties, did jenever shots, and patronized the nearby HENDO snack-stand. So imagine my surprise when I walked into the Regal Theatres lobby and saw her standing there! We swapped contact details and went our separate ways.
So here I was, talking with my Czech classmate and her husband when I mention that I’d lived in Holland and that some of my friends in that program had later gone to Prague to teach English. As it turned out, they knew one another and had met in Praha. I looked over at Lauren and she had the look of unmitigated surprise on her face.
The world, my friends, is small. So be nice to each other.
Who knew Austin was my karmic hub?