A pandemonium of parrots!

[This post originally appeared in Dullicious, where I blogged as Barbie-dull for several years.]

I learnt a couple days ago, after a visit at the New England Aquarium, that a group of jelly fish is called a smack. Amy and I got curious about other funny animal groups names. Since she is too busy at work and I’m actively vacationing, I got tagged to blog about the ones I like.

A congress of baboons
A sleuth/sloth of bears
A flock of cocks
A rainbow of butterflies
A coalition of cheetahs
A peep of chickens
A cartload of chimpanzees
A quiver of cobras
An intrusion of cockroaches
A murder of crows
A gang of (scurvy) dogs (hi gang!)
A duet of doves
A team of ducks
A swarm of eels (eek!)
A parade of elephants
An army of frogs (yay!)
A thunder of hippopotamus (uh-huh)
A tribe of humans
A mob of kangaroos (hop, hop!)
A pride of lions (that’s right!)
A mischief of mice
A buffoonery of orangutans
A pandemonium of parrots (brrrrrrak!)
A huddle of penguins
A plague of rats
A scurry of squirrels
A regatta of swans
An army of wombats

Language barrier, problems reaching out

My parents sent me to the UK for 3 weeks, one summer, when I was 10. I stayed at the Carvers’, in Frome, not far from Bristol and Bath.

I don’t know why, but today I was reminded of watching TV during a weekend afternoon with their daughter, who was 13 years old. A soap opera was on and I was struggling (and quite failing) to understand what was going on.

I thought I had figured out the main female character was in early pregnancy. At this point I was barely paying attention to the show. I was looking for ways to speak to my companion. So I was rehearsing my side of the conversation, over and over.

Is she waiting for a baby?

That was the translation of “elle attend un bébé?”, which is the French for “is she pregnant?”, which I had never learnt to say.

And I rehearsed it (and other variations) for so long that eventually, it wasn’t worth saying anymore.

I had been concerned not only with the language barrier –I suspected my words weren’t right–, but also it was difficult for me to initiate the conversation. Yet, I wanted to. I didn’t.

I am not sure whether I wanted to find out if the woman was actually expecting, or if I simply wanted to talk.