Well any of you all who know me know that I like to joke around a lot. A lot of the time these jokes or lines I say tend to be pretty stupid, but I like to say them anyway, as I really don't have what people call a “filter.” If I think something is funny, I usually say it.
Here in Moldova, in Romanian, these jokes do not translate very well as they tend to be sarcastic. Although, I must say that these kind of things are getting much better for me as Moldovans around me are beginning to understand me. A great example of such a joke is something that I have always thought to say to a Moldovan, and finally had a good opportunity. Here in Moldova they are big on slippers, especially come winter. In the village I had a pair for getting around outside, and a pair strictly for the house. I think that if I wore the outside pair inside, or even joked about it my host mom would have gutted me like one of her chickens. Trust me she is good at it, one day I came home from work to find all 90 dead. Anyway, so slippers in Moldova. A very popular pair of slippers are a comfy looking bunch, with the word “sport” sewed into the tops of them (I wish I had a picture for you all).
I have always wanted to joke with a vendor in the piata about this, but decided not to. Yesterday I was at work after about a week off because of some health problems (that’s another long story) and saw that my coworker Ana was wearing these slippers. I immediately smiled, but tried to hide it, and in the middle of our conversation with a stone cold serious face asked, “soooo, what kind of sports can you play in those?” pointing to her slippers. She actually thought this was really funny, and I was really glad. I know the joke is really lame, but it is the kind of sarcasm that I miss, and that I notice I still cling to, I simply refuse to give it all up. It is something that I miss about our culture in USA.
Not everyone is sarcastic in the USA, and I agree that too much sarcasm can probably be seen as a sign of weakness, just simply annoying, and even exhausting at points. But I would say that it is something that defines American humor, and I tend to miss that. To cope with this I do simple one-liners like the slipper one daily, and I find that I enjoy my day, and Moldovans around me too, as they are not used to it. I think it really is a great way to spread our American culture to Moldovans, especially in the workplace. Speaking of which, I should probably be on my way right now.