Friday, September 25, 2009

Ti neg

So the words for "a guy" here are "neg la." And it doesn't refer to white guys here really, just black guys. (Although Nahomi did call Josiah "ti neg" (little black guy) one time. I don't like saying it because I think it's too close to a derogatory word used in the US. But it's very commonly used here. A Haitian guy might greet another Haitian guy, "Koman ou ye bon neg?" (Basically how are you, good guy?) There's no negative connotation. Still, I don't like to use it. I have used it, but I generally do not.

So with that reference let me tell you a hilarious story. I'll warn you, it's weird. I have this mole on the back of my neck that Fritzie likes to rub. I have NO idea why, she just likes to touch it. We'll just be sitting there watching TV and the next thing I know she's rubbing it. Or I will be driving and I will feel a little hand come up from the backseat RUBBING THE MOLE. And I'll be all like, "Fritzie, you're so weird, what are you doing?" And she's like, "I don't know, I just like it."

It kind of drives me crazy. But it also makes me laugh because WHAT THE HECK? It reminds me of how I am always playing with the loose thin "old lady skin" on the top of my mom's hand. I like to pet it because it's soft. And after a while she just bats me away and is all, "Leave me alone." (By the way, Melody likes to pet the old lady skin too... I am not the only weirdo.)

We're sitting around after church tonight and I am drinking iced tea. Fritzie is eating a peanut butter sandwich. Next thing I know she's petting the mole. I laugh and tell her to quit it. Fritzie says, "Men mwen renmen li. (But I like it)." Nick, who is sitting next to me asks Fritzie what you'd call the mole in Kreyol. She says, "Mwen pa konnen. (I don't know.)" Then Nick said, "Si ou vle touche li, ou bezwen bay li nom. (If you want to touch it, you have to give it a name.)" At this point I am like, "Listen WEIRDOS, STOP it with the mole touching, the mole naming, etc. Just leave it be." And Fritzie's all wanting to name it, and Nick and her shooting out names. Then Nick shot out, "Ti neg." And everyone in the room exploded into laughter/ So unfortunately, the name Ti Neg (little black guy)I think has stuck.

Before bed each night Fritzie comes in to say, "Good night Mommy Gwenn, Good night Papi Nick. And gives us little kisses on the cheek." Tonight she said, Good night Mommy Gwenn, Goodnight Ti Neg, Good Night Papi Nick."

I think Ti Neg is here to stick.


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