“Marvelouuus, Cherie!”

It’s been fun to have visitors from Europe in town for a few days. Catching up—this son iskant having a baby, that one is having a divorce—and doing things that I wouldn’t usually do. Peking duck, at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant atop the Ritz-Carlton, for example. Never done that before, never would without the pleasant excuse of entertaining.

And of course when there are foreign languages involved, communication issues are to be expected. (He is allergic to pepper. Only chili pepper? Or also BLACK pepper?)

To avoid communication problems I texted my street address to my friends. (When translated literally, for example, “two-thirty” in English, becomes “one-thirty” in German.)  I was hustling about taking care of business before they arrived for their Manhattan Beach experience—the Pier, the aquarium, the walk on the beach. Just when I was expecting the cab to drop them off, the phone rang.

Sometimes the plants overgrow my doorbell. They’ve arrived!

“Are you going to text the address??”

“What? I sent it an hour ago?!”

I carefully dictated the address and after hanging up I figured out what happened. The address went via iMessage. Their phones are European and they had not connected to the internet. So I then tapped the message, and re-sent it as a “text message”. On the iPhone it switched from blue to green.

And they got it.

So many quirks to the technology world.

“Why you use the your phone maps when you have this?” She pointed at the navigation system in the car. “Well, I can put the info in on the phone while we’re walking here. And the car system ‘locks up’ while we are driving so it takes extra time before we start.”

So odd that our technology and phones are not just tools but topics of conversation. But they are.

Do you use Siri?” I asked her.

“No. She cannot understand my accent.”

About Karen Ray

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