Today found me in Wal-Mart, in search of an item I needed to buy to take to Africa. After looking in a couple of sections where I thought I might locate one, I decided that asking might be my best approach if I wasn’t to spend my entire day in this supersized store. I sought out one of the helpful folks in the blue vest and asked where I might find what it was I was looking for.
“Flice vater? Vat is flice vater?” Great. I get Sergei, the only guy in the store who was fresh in from the Ukraine, and he has no idea what I am asking for. So, like I would do for a patient that didn’t speak english, I resorted to charades. I held my hand out and made a quick downward motion, and said “Thwack. You know, for killing flies.”
“Ohhhhhhh”, said Sergei. “You vant fly killer.”
“Yes.” I said. “I want fly killer”. Sergei didn’t know where I could find one, but speculated that it would probably be hanging up somewhere. I thanked him, and looked for another blue vest.
This blue vested man directed me to the household chemicals section of the supermarket, on the other side of the store. Didn’t see it there, and the blue vested lady there directed me to the housewares section, back again, on the now other side of the store. In housewares I happened upon another blue vested lady, approached her and asked if she knew where the fly swatter was.
“Flyce vater? Vat is flyce vater?” You guessed it. Sergei came with his wife and they both got a job in the same store! She grabbed the lady next to her, who hilariously spoke english with a very heavy chinese accent. When I told her I what I was looking for and did my charade, she said, “oh you looking for fly killer”. Yes, a fly killer. She was very funny and charming and took us under her wing to help us find fly killers.
Back to the household chemicals section she lead us, as she also knew this was where we would find the fly killers. There, in aisle 12 where she knew them to be, and where we had previously looked for them, we could not find them, but we did find a nice young man and our helplful blue vested lady asked him, with charades, where to find the fly killers.
“Do you mean fly swatters? They’re over here.”
Two bright pink flice vaters, sorry, fly killers, and a whole bunch of laughter later, I am prepared to defend our food in Africa against marauding flies, I mean flice.