Anders, a new foreign student in town, asked me to show him to the disc market. By disc market, I mean a market for anything that comes on a disc: DVD, VCD, CD, MP3, and lots of other acronyms I know not of. We found hundreds of movie and music discs, but did not see any computer software. If it is going to be anywhere, it is here.
Since I had recently learned the word “software,” this was the perfect opportunity to practice. “Second floor,” the service lady answered to my question as she pointed to the staircase. Anders and I ascended the stairs into linguistic confusion. As we scanned the entire second floor, all that could be seen was fabric hanging from seven-foot tall racks. There were a few problems here. One, was my word for software right, because, like English, it sounds exactly like “soft clothing.” Two, what is fabric doing in the middle of the disc market? Three, is this their idea of “software.” It is soft and wearable, but not soft and wareable. Four, what are the chances of two languages having the same compound word which happens to rhyme with a separate and similar meaning? Five, am I dreaming?
No. First floor: disc market. Second floor (East): fabric market-for some unknown and probably absurd reason. After a few minutes of being shocked, we noticed a hallway hidden around the corner from the staircase…easy to miss, I might add. Of course, it was full of software, catch that…”ware.” However, if you ever need software or softwear, just call. Anders and I can hook you up with just the right place.