Putting Honey On My Lips

18 Oct

A few days ago we were heading back from a trip to the airport when Olaf asked me if I would like a drink from Starbucks on the way home. As it was 4 in the afternoon I thought a choc-chip java frappuchino would hit the spot perfectly. We decided to pop into a Starbucks located in a mall close to home. My drink of choice was not available as the branch we had chosen was about  to close down for a month for renovations and they had run out of chocolate chips. Fortunately, the mall has another Starbucks branch so we thought we would get the drinks from there as we were in no particular rush.

Before we left Olaf asked the chap behind the counter to phone the other branch just to make sure that they had choc-chips before we walked across the entire length of the mall. The chap leaned back and spoke to someone in a passage way behind the counter, out of sight of us, and then told us that he would not need to call branch number 2 as a man who worked at the branch that we were heading to was currently in their shop and could assure us that they had stock of choc-chips. No-problemo.

We arrived at Starbucks branch number 2 only to find it closed. As most shops reopen at 4 and it was just after 4 we decided to wait for 10 minutes before calling it quits and heading home. Presently a man in Starbucks uniform came strolling along, pushing a trolley with milk, cheesecake and a couple of other Starbucks products. Putting 2 and 2 together I figured that it had to be the man who had been in the passage way of the first branch we had been in and that he had been collecting stock for his shop. I chucked to myself thinking how strange it was that he did not pop his head out as we left the previous shop and tell us that he would be a little late.

We gave him a few minutes to get things up and running in his store before heading in to order our drinks. I ordered a drink for Olaf and then my choc-chip java frappuchino to which he replied: “Sorry mam, we do not have any choc-chips in stock”. SORRY, WHAT???  BUT YOU JUST SAID…

What else can you do in this situation but laugh.

I do not, for a moment, believe that anything was lost in translation during this little choc-chip saga but I do believe that the Arabic saying: “You are putting honey on my lips” rings true in this case. Olaf taught me that Arabs use this saying when they think that someone is telling them an untruth just to appease them and to avoid dealing with the repercussions of the actual answer not being a positive one. In other words, sweet talk to keep you from getting angry because of non-delivery.

Honey on my lips as a replacement for choc-chips in my drink was certainly not quite as tasty as I might have imagined.


2 Responses to “Putting Honey On My Lips”

  1. jana October 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    When I was growing up, grandma would use the expression “pulling honey strings under one’s nose” to describe sweet, white lies. I am amazed to find the same honey reference in the Middle East.

    I wish I had asked in Korea whether they had any sayings of this nature. In case you didn’t know, Koreans are masters at saying only what will please you (i.e. bull-s*ing). Now I am beginning to think Saudis might be breathing on their necks, competition-wise.

  2. Wrens Senses November 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Oooo!!! I love the phrase. I could use this in my creative writing project. How does this sound?

    Taste ::: Thick honey smeared on lips, sticky sweet lies to appease the truth.

    Would you be interested in sending me one of your photos to play with? I recently started a creative writing project involving other people’s photos. I’d give you a Byline with a link to your blog.


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