Perils of Direct Translation

While on a flight to Urumqi last week, the woman sitting next to me struck up a conversation.  Like all such conversations here, it began with her asking me where I was from.  I told her, and asked the same of her.  In due time I asked her why she was going to Urumqi.  In English, she replied "I’m going to see my lover."  To someone not familiar with Chinese (and even to someone who is), that was a pretty forward answer, given the connotation of the word "lover" in English.  But she was merely directly translating the Chinese word "ai-ren" (love person), which is often the word used for a spouse.  I smiled, assumed that’s what she was talking about, and said, "that’s nice!" 

Yes, I am back from my Kashgar trip, and I have stories and photos.  But 5 days away from my office means I’m buried in work right now, so posting will probably not happen for a few days.  Sit tight!  I’ll just tease you with this formula:  10,000 feet + Kyrgyz yurt + heavy snow = adventure!