‘Sometimes used to introduce discussion or resume debate, mah is the net that captures stray thoughts. It’s the time you take before you jump and your chance to consider how cold the water is.’
I have never been on a speed-date in my life, and I’m hoping to be able to say that until the day I die. Repeated introductions, timers and frantic checklists make me nervous. I’m just not good at having to be interesting at high speeds. Besides, when you live in a country where getting sized up is the order of the day, there’s no need to torture oneself voluntarily-at least in public.
I much prefer to have my ‘speed-date’ sessions in private-and most of these are purely language related. Finding a nice free phrase to spend quality time with is quite a feat, especially if you’re prone to weeding words out of your mind with the zeal of a gardener gone manic. This week, for instance, I’ve had several impressive close encounters with numerous Italian expressions. Alas, none of them made it past our seven-minute round of ‘getting to know you’.