Anyone who has learned a second language knows that a good sense of humor is vital. Read about some misunderstandings Molly encountered here.
Jonathan and I have come to recognize a certain look of shock and confusion in a person’s face as a sign that we’re still not fluent in Indonesian. We recently encountered this look when we showed my new friend Melly around the YAJASI hangar.
After checking out the PC-6 cockpit, I told Melly about the types of cargo that we transport in the wing pods.
These pods are nice to keep smelly goods—like fuel jugs and fish—a comfortable distance from the passengers. They’re also the perfect little cubbies for transporting baby pigs. When I tried to tell Melly that we fly anak babi (baby pigs) in the pods, she exclaimed a surprised “Oh!” Because I was having trouble enunciating the last clarifying noun, what she heard was “We keep the anak (children) in here.” Realizing my mistake, I said, “Sorry, I meant to say, ‘We keep the bayi in here.’” An even deeper shock hit my friend. In my nervousness I had said the word for baby (bayi) instead of the word for pig (babi)! Finally, Jonathan helped me find the correct word for pig and we all laughed about it together.