A friend of mine was in an African country, teaching at a local college. He was
new to the college, new to the country, but he decided to take a trip into the
countryside to check out the local wildlife. His car broke down about 20 miles
out of town and he decided to hitch a ride. After several minutes a car came down
the dusty road and he stuck his thumb out to hitch.
The car screeched to a halt. He figured, ?What a friendly country this is.
The very first car stopped!? But then the driver and three of his male passengers
got out and proceeded to pummel him almost into unconsciousness. Once he could
get his mind together, and long after the car with the attackers had gone off,
he dusted himself off and waited for the next car. It soon appeared. Again, he
stuck his thumb out. Screeeech! The second car slammed to a standstill and again
the driver got out. Our friend figured he was a dead man as this driver was a
towering, muscular specimen of a man and he was coming right towards him.
?No, no, no,? said the man-mountain in a pleasant lilt, ?you
will get killed. You do not ask for a ride by insulting the driver?s family.?
Then the friendly native informed our friend that in his country the American
hitching sign was tantamount to saying that the driver?s mother was having
carnal knowledge with a baboon. It was the highest of insults. He went on to explain
that to hitch a ride, you hit the back of one hand against the palm of another
because ?you are begging for a ride.?
Had it not been for that nice mountain of a man, my friend might never have survived
his roadside situation. He was in another country but he didn?t understand
the culture of that country.
In a similar vein, another friend of mine was teaching at a local high school.
A girl, just recently arrived from China, was placed in his homeroom class. Our
friend gave the girl her schedule but at the end of homeroom, she came up to him
and she was clearly upset. In broken English she said: ?Can?t go to
that class! No!? She pointed to her schedule. He tried to figure out why
the thought of going to biology was such a scary proposition for her. Finally,
after much effort, the girl said she could not go ?to that f***ing class.?
My friend was shocked at the language coming from this seemingly genteel young
lady. Then the girl added that the class ?sucks.?
It took him awhile to realize what had happened. The girl had very limited English.
When she had gotten her schedule, another student took a look at it and helpfully
informed her that he ?hated that f***ing class? and that as far as
he was concerned ?it sucks.? She took his words literally and was
shocked to discover that in America we had a ?f***ing? class where
we also taught oral sex techniques! Needless to say, it took a little doing to
explain to her that in America there were no literal ?f***ing? classes
and that ?sucks? was just a word American teenagers used to mean that
something wasn?t good. This poor girl was in another country and it had
Well, the casino is like another country; it has its own rules, language and culture.
Each table game is like a province in a country, with its own distinct dialects
and mores. To not feel like an unwanted foreigner, you have to understand the
language and culture -- and then you must assimilate. The casino is Lady Luck?s
melting pot. And there?s only one way to do things when in a casino ?
the casino?s way!
Some of Frank's most popular books can be purchased by clicking one of the image