Jon Stein

Words and Music and…

When is a fish not a fish?

So you go to the fishmongers. You want some mackerel, you know it’s good for you. Feeling confident, you ask: ‘Tienes algun caballo?’ The fishmonger laughs, and goes into a shtik, miming the riding of a horse. Doh! You’ve asked for a horse (caballo), not mackerel (caballa). Well, you won’t do that again, will you?dav


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4 thoughts on “When is a fish not a fish?

  1. Debashish on said:


    I was searching for some kind of literature on Auroville after spending a week at Pondicherry earlier this month. I’ve always been interested in Westerners’ accounts of their “India experience”. So I was pleasantly surprised when I came across “On the Road to Auroville”, which was not one of those didactic tomes but a travelogue-cum-memoir…apparently the only one available on Auroville. And I took the liberty of writing to you here.

    My favourite moment was surprisingly on the very first page of the book, the quote in the Prologue.

    “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”

    And if I might add, the irony here is that one realizes the truth in this saying only with experience. 🙂



  2. Rosalind Atkins on said:

    Love this story. Reminds me of when I was working in a German office and tried to ask a colleague in my developing language why he was so smartly dressed that day (angezogen). Unfortunately, I asked why he was so well “ausgezogen”. That means undressed! Another helpful colleague stepped in with: “Who knows? Perhaps she’s right!”

    • Thanks Rosalind – lovely story! Language differences are great aren’t they, although I confess traveling to Portugal, Belgium and Holland this summer has been a challenge…
      I’m also curious to know how you came across my blog (I didn’t think anyone had read it in years…).

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