Who would have thought it?

So, I remember as a youth that one of the phrases that reputedly featured in English/French phrase books was ” My postillion has been struck by lightning.”

How often would you have used it?

In James Thurber‘s 1937 New Yorker article “There’s No Place Like Home”, a phrasebook from “the era of Imperial Russia” contains the “magnificent” line: “Oh, dear, our postillion has been struck by lightning!”. Thurber speculates that such a “fantastic piece of disaster” must have been rare, “even in the days of the Czars”.[11]


Er, so  an expression that I came up with in Japanese class was “Watashi wa gasorinsutando gai sukidesu.” which you all know means “I love gas stations.”

This is true. The gas station experience  here reaches a level of joy that is unimaginable to Europeans and most Americans. Check out:


How often would I be able to use this expression in day-to-day conversation?

So, today I am asked to greet a group of Okinawan business folk

whom are touring the university. At the last moment I am told that they represent the owners of the gas stations on the island!

I am half way through my greeting, in English with interpreter, when I realize I can use,  “My postillion has been struck by lightning.”

I say “Watashi wa gasorinsutando gai sukidesu.”  to great glee and amazement  from listeners.

I can say little in Japanese and the odds against  placing something as bats as “I love gas stations” in conversation must be huge.

But I did it!

Big thank you to Aya sensei

Love is a many splendored thing

Love is a many splendored thing

Er, I won’t go into the background to this photo but all in all it has been an unusual day.

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2 Responses to Who would have thought it?

  1. Mike Taylor says:

    All I get over here in Francophonia is endless jokes about “my tailor is rich” (thank you for that one Linguaphone) whenever I’m introduced.
    Mike Taylor (not rich)

  2. Dude, buy a sewing machine.

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