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As the months passed, my journal would be taken down less and less often from its place on the top shelf of the tavern. Not because it had been forgotten, but out of deference to its author, whose work, even if it could not be understood, had to be respected. There would be unspoken agreement among the villagers that the journal ought to be taken down only so it could be shown off when a visitor came to the village, or on other special occasions. And that’s how it would remain until the arrival of one particular visitor, a British anthropologist in the area doing her doctoral research. With the entire village gathered around her, she would open my journal and translate it aloud, raising her voice so that everyone could hear. When the groaning and cursing finally subsided, the schoolmaster would ask if anyone had any idea of the meaning of “rage rating” or “triggering event” or “OKCupid.” The mayor, in an effort to boost morale, would declare victory over the Americans. The cleric would denounce the village idiot, who was still smiling in anticipation of finally being recognized for his role in the journal affair. I would be humiliated. “Why humiliated?” Dr D asked. “Even if everything happened in the way you described, you wouldn’t be around to know it.” “Maybe,” I replied. “But the larger point is that humiliation will find you anywhere. The Japanese say that shame is discarded on a journey, but that’s not my experience. Plus I bet that anthropologist would be pretty hot, too.” “OK, we’re nearly out of time, so why don’t we do this,” Dr D said. “Today’s Wednesday, and you’re leaving Friday night for that week of cycling in Croatia, right? Let’s give the merged

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Profile for cusoa

2017 Word for Work Workshop ebook  

2017 Word for Work Workshop ebook  

Profile for cusoa