FridayQ's: Foreign Places and Lovely Spaces

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:09 AM

Michael has been doing this meme for a little while, and I thought I might give it a try, doing the past two weeks worth in reverse order. The first one is on foreign countries, the second on romance. If you'd like to answer the questions as well, feel free to do so in the comments.

FQ1: What's your native language? Do you speak any foreign languages? If so, how did you come to learn them?
English. I'm working on Koine Greek, presently, although the my main goal is to be good at reading it, not speaking it (who exactly am I going to speak it to?). This is my second time around with Greek, previously through books, now via a Greek instructor. As I've said before, I probably should learn Spanish someday soon.

I have friends and acquaintances who speak the following languages as their native tongues (in order of frequency that I converse with them): Romanian, Spanish, German and Swedish. If I was really good at languages, or at least had lots of spare time, I think I would try to learn all of the above; I feel bad that I know at least one person from each of the above language groups who probably speaks better English than I do, yet I cannot say one iota back to them in their native language or even another language native to neither of us (unless I time travel back to meet the apostles and greet them in Koine Greek :)).

FQ2: What's your native country? Have you visited any foreign countries? If so, which ones?
The good old US of A. I have not been outside of its borders; I was suppose to go on a trip a few years back, but a family emergency canceled that and other opportunities have not arisen.

FQ3: Are there any foreign foods, books, movies, or other items that you are particularly fond of? Name some of your favorites.
Foods, yes, most definitely. Probably my favorite foreign food would be Mexican, although I'll admit that I'd generally prefer the Americanized versions at Taco Bell over authentic Mexican food (not that I don't like the latter). Next would be Italian; I love finding a restaurant still owned by an Italian family and ordering a pizza from it. Chinese would probably be next; I really like egg rolls and broccoli chicken fried rice, among other things. I like a lot of German foods too, but I'm not sure how Americanized what I've eaten has been.

Books… well, I guess I have a number of books I like that are from outside the U.S. I mean, technically C.S. Lewis is a foreign writer, but I don't generally think about him like that. If we are going to do translated works, I'll say Jorge Luis Borges's writings, off the top of my head. Or does Dante count?

I'm not a big movie buff in general, so foreign movies aren't a big deal for me. I barely see any domestic movies! What else do I like foreign? Hmm… well, I like German cars (well, Japanese ones are nice too). :) I had some good chocolates from Austria a few years back as well. I'm not sure, perhaps it is too late at night for me to think of these types of things.

FQ NATIVE: If you had to trade your nationality for that of any foreign country, which would you choose and why?

Sheesh. I'm not sure. For practical reasons, I would choose a first world country. I dunno — maybe I'd “become” German, Italian, Switzerland, Sweden or something like that if I am imagining myself being a native of someplace else. If I was going for something a little different, maybe I'd pick Greece, Israel, Japan or Romania. Now, if I we are talking about yours truly expatriating and going somewhere else, I'd pragmatically pick someplace where I could actually communicate easily, which would give me the U.K., Australia, Canada and Ireland. Of those, I'd probably pick Canada or the U.K.

Last Week's FridayQ: Romance
FQ1: What music puts you in the mood for romance?
Not having ever had a “romance,” I guess I cannot say exactly. To me, though, I'd say that I think cordoning off romance into a particular area is rather foolish; it isn't what you are listening to, but who you're with, right? Admittedly, perhaps some music would be a bad choice, but if you love someone, I think all music would seem romantic in her presence.

FQ2: Where is the perfect place for romancing someone?
Similar to what I said above. I suppose I would think some place quiet that is well suited to talking. Perhaps someplace scenic. But, I do not think that need be necessary. I don't like the idea of “romancing” someone though — it sounds too much like a premeditated attempt at selling one's self. Call me idealistic or a hopeless romantic (pun intended), but I think a relationship ought to be formed simply because two people who enjoy each other's company, and are of opposite sexes, find themselves moving from friendship to mutual love. I have no doubt that this is naive, but still…

FQ3: What kind of foods get you feeling romantic?
Well, ditto what I've already said. I would think whatever food it was that one ate frequently with the beloved.

FQ LOVER: How would somebody go about winning your heart?
Just being herself. If she was kind, interesting to talk to and had a good sense of humor, that would go a long way to it. I think ideally, that person would have a lot of the same interests, but enough different ones that we both could have things to talk about in common and things to share that were not. In other words, not one particular action, but just the general way of being is important; this is a gradual process. Can you see a theme here in my answers?

I'll be honest here; I've had one person win my heart — I'm quite sure inadvertently on her part — so this is not idle speculation on this last question. Of course, the problem is reciprocating by winning hers… if that ever happens, it will only be by grace God chooses to grant me, for I am dubious about whether it could ever occur from what I say and do, and it certainly is not aided at all by my appearance.

Join the Conversation

5 comments posted so far.

Re: FridayQ's: Foreign Places and Lovely Spaces

Sweden would be honoured :mrgreen: (I left my answers over at Michael’s site.)

Posted by Flip - May 21, 2005 | 10:24 AM- Location: Sweden

Re: FridayQ's: Foreign Places and Lovely Spaces

  1. English; Dutch, German, some Spanish, a bit of Pidgin Sign. German from college and some use in Germany, Dutch from living in the Netherlands, Spanish from public school in Oklahoma (nearly universal requirement), and Sign from a church school.

  2. US; Canada, West Europe: Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria. Passed through the London airports and laid over a couple of times.

  3. I am very fond of the Dutch and Belgian version of French Fries (called “frites” and pronounced “freets”). Just about any Dutch cheese is good, and I like Belgian mineral water. I have generally liked Contemporary Christian Music from Scandinavia. I don’t like movies, and my book tastes are hard to describe.

As regards romance, I am so deeply disgusted by the idiotic Western version of it I would rather not comment. We do so much of it wrong it’s just not worth discussing here. Meanwhile, I do a great deal of counseling and teaching on it in church settings. Teenagers seem to love my take on things.

Posted by Ed Hurst - May 21, 2005 | 6:24 PM- Location: Rural SE Texas

Re: FridayQ's: Foreign Places and Lovely Spaces

FQ1 - English, No seconds. My wife, who is bilingual, is currently “trying” to teach me some portuguese so I can understand what my inlaws are saying.

FQ2 - USA. Canada, mother is French Canadian, and Jamaica.

FQ3 - Food -> Like Jerk seasoning, enjoy real Italian cooking. Enjoy Portguese roasted pork and potatoes. If things equal TV and sports, then Europe holds alot for me. Love Monty Python, watch most Euro sports, F1, cycling, WRC so in that respect I would fit in quite nicely in the UK.

FQN - Italy or Japan. Love the cars, the food, the surrounding countries, the sports, the passion. Japan, even though I would hate the over crowding, has that sort of Zen, spiritual self thing that I find so fascinating.

OldFQ1 - Intrumental music. Violin, piano, guitar, etc etc.

OldFQ2 - Depends on the person. If you both love sailing, then on a boat watching the sunset. Clearly don’t need to spend money to share that moment.

OldFQ3 - To many variables. Romance can happen anywhere.

OldFQ4 - I’m married so I guess someone already won.

Posted by Mark - May 21, 2005 | 7:42 PM- Location: MA

Re: FridayQ's: Foreign Places and Lovely Spaces

Here is the link. I forget to post it.

Posted by Michael Morgan - May 21, 2005 | 11:09 PM- Location: Sullivan, Missouri

Re: FridayQ's: Foreign Places and Lovely Spaces

Thanks, everyone, for participating.

Flip: Thanks, re: Sweden. :D

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - May 22, 2005 | 8:00 PM- Location: MO

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