Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Does Heaven Look Like?

     I was waiting in the checkout line in our local supermarket, a neighbourhood No Frills, just before xmas.  The neighbourhood is a colourful combination of gentrified Victorian homes and city housing projects.  The supermarket was packed and the lineups were long.  A pair of men were conversing in Spanish when one of them said to me in English, "Is this the end of the line?"
     I nodded and said, "Now how would you say 'end of the line' in Spanish?"
     "Al final de la línea," he said, "the end of the line."
     That's just like in French, said the woman in line ahead of me.  "La fin de la ligne."
     "Конец строки," said a boy falling in behind the two men.  "Russian," he added.
     A woman with groceries and two children in her shopping cart joined the line saying,
"ي نهاية السطر  -- the end of the line, Arabic."
     "Lots of different languages," I said.
     "That's what heaven will be like," said the woman ahead of me.

1 comment:

  1. So are you saying that the people on the Tower of Babel project actually finished and got to the next level? I suppose that, with non-phonetic ideograms they still could have communicated....