Wednesday, January 5, 2005

The Passion of the Grist: "Arbito make flee"

I remember with great nostalgia when I used to live like a celebrity, enjoying only two part-time jobs. Although my jobs were not nearly as exciting as Britney Spears' (teen singing sensation + teen actress), I managed to endure the trials + tribulations of a dual-career existence. But now I'm moving into my 3rd part-time job.

When I lived in Japan, my Baiko girls would always use the phrase "part-time job" in their broken English sentences:

Me: What are your plans for this weekend?

Hiroko: Part-time job.

Me: What did you do last weekend?

Mayumi: Part-time job.

Funny how that one poorly pronounced phrase worked in future + past tenses!

In Japanese, another word used for "job" is "arbito," from the Dutch/German arbeit. Yes, as in "Arbeit macht frei," the ever popular phrase emblazoned above death camps throughout central Europe during the early + mid-1940s. I often imagined my gaggle of gakkusei quacking out the Nazi slogan in their worse English, much like the Aflac duck: "arubaito mekku furi." Work make you free, or, perhaps more insightfully, work make you flee.

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