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The Man From San Francisco, Part Three (along with part of part two)

Posted Apr 12 2010 6:27pm
What I am trying to say is that neither my English nor my Indonesian has been very suitable when it comes to conversing with tourists (or bar hoppers) who are speaking German, Dutch, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, or Norwegian. Or Canadian either for that matter (though this particular cultural barrier belongs to another article altogether). So it has happened, at Angels’ bar anyway, frequented as it is by people of all nations (except, curiously enough, the Indonesian nation), that language has been put back two or three eons, resulting in a return to the linguistic repertoire* of the cave man. Happily however, the Bintang consumed, when applied in a liberal manner, serves to mitigate the effects of this barrier to the extent that whether one is being understood or is himself understanding becomes superfluous--for the flow of the spirits, as alcohol is called here, has carried on its current the universal brotherhood of man, the shared experience of human existence..

We live, we know, we understand.

Who needs language anyway?

Ladies and gentlemen, what you are reading has been written over a period of seven days or so, a time during which for the latter part I have been quite sick with the flu, or with food poisoning, or dengue fever, or . . . well with something; and I find just now, upon this particular entry, that I have quite forgotten what I meant to say about the man from San Francisco (who is currently, if memory serves, on a business trip to Vietnam).

But wait--Ah yes--the forbidden bar, the den of iniquity, the sober warning, the birth of curiosity (Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law*), capitulation, the man from San Francisco.

Avast--There she blows--the White Whale!**

Many of us who suffer from the dumb-i-fying effects of multiple sclerosis tend to poke fun at ourselves. We do so in order to make both explanation and excuse.

*Romans 7:5.

**We can be fairly certain, without actually checking the source, that I am paraphrasing 200 or so exclamations from Melville’s classic, Moby Dick.

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