Foreign Tongues

Portugese Timor, 1973, Setting off on a WWII Troop barge into the Timor Sea

Ciao, Adios, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

When I was young, I traveled far
from Germany to Zanzibar.
Australia, Bali, France and Spain,
to Africa and back again.

And though I mostly loved them all,
from Venice to the Taj Mahal,
as my departure time grew nigh
I had to voice a sad goodbye.

To Ethiopia I strayed.
For eighteen months I stayed and stayed;
and when I had to leave too soon,
I had to say “dehena hun.”

In college days, when I was young,
German was my foreign tongue;
but when to Frankfurt wir mussten gehen
I just remembered, “Auf Wiedersehen.”

The French were rude and cold and snotty.
They mocked my accent and were haughty,
so while I had to bid “adieu,”
I’d have preferred to say, “pee-ew.”

Florence thrilled me from the start.
Their lasagna is a work of art.
When I left, they all said, “Ciao.”
Their kitties, though, all said, “Miao.”

I never went to Israel
but nonetheless, I’m proud to tell,
the rabbi books? Read every tome.
So I know how to say “Shalom.”

Though “Arigato” is bound to do
when you want to say thank you,
Sayonara” is the way to go
to bid farewell in Tokyo.

Bali’s full of dance and art
that treat your eyes and fill your heart.
I must admit, I had a ball
before I said “Selamat tinggal.”

Mexico was saved for last
And now I fear my lot is cast
Since “Adios” I cannot say,
I’ve decided I will stay!

The prompt today is foreign.

8 thoughts on “Foreign Tongues

  1. updownflight

    How creative and humorous!

    I remember as a very young woman traveling in France alone. They were quite nice to me. At the time I did speak pretty good French, though. I have returned in later years with my husband. I’ll agree they weren’t quite as friendly as I remember. But not very unfriendly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong

    The word for cat in (Mandarin? Cantonese?) for cat is Mao, which is why we named our first cat Mao Ee (ee apparently means “one.” If you think of Mao Tse Tung as Cat Tse Tung, he gets funnier.

    I loved foreign travel. Garry did a lot of it when he was young. I spent a few months in the British Isles and actually got married in London. We didn’t make it to Scotland. Not enough time. Of course, Israel, Canada, and a teeny tiny bit of Mexico. And the Caribbean. We would have done more, but we got caught up in traveling in the U.S. It turns out that California was pretty foreign too 😀

    Liked by 1 person


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