Friday, April 17, 2009

A Mother's Warning

There comes a point when you've been in a foreign country too long. Some say it's when you start to forget your mother tongue (this hasn't happened to me; I can't imagine it happening) or speak it with an accent (perhaps legitimate, but this one seems ridiculous). What has happened to me, though, is the inability to immediately distinguish between proper English and Baltish. Sometimes I have to look twice. Even three times. Which is the case below.

Certainly, this is the long way around to communicate Danger (or how should the sign read?). It's rather unconventional--even motherly in tone--but I suppose it's correct. When I encountered the sign (at Põltsamaa castle) I stood in front of it for several minutes, recalling all the warnings my mother gave me as a child. You're liable to lose an eye. You're liable to kill your brother. But she never said I was liable to have a castle fall on me.

So I sent the photo to my mother, who replied that her warnings had indeed managed to keep me alive this long. If your mother told you the same silly things, feel free to send her this image. And let me know what she says.