Today, I actually approached a strange man in the store here in Malaysia. He was the first white guy I saw and I just knew he would speak English. Not all Malays or Malaysians speak English. (That’s the reason for the reference to the “white” guy.) I was also pretty sure he could help me with some measurements. No, not clothing! It was a supermarket!
I love getting older. I am finding that I am much more assertive in the question asking arena. I just don’t care anymore. Even if it sounds silly or it’s something I should know. I don’t care. I just ask away. Anyone and anywhere. Mostly to save time and then, of course, I also don’t want to tax this little old brain of mine.
So, I looked up at this fellow. All six feet three inches of him. Weighed about two hundred ten pounds. Probably had a thirty-one inch waist. He was about three feet from me when I piped up, “Can you help me? I am metrically challenged.”
He smiled and looked amused. And he helped me.
I know that the U.S. pretty much stands alone in its refusal to use the metric system. The result of this decision has me wandering around a grocery, flustered and confused.
I said I would learn the metric system. Confession? I haven’t.
I do know that one kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds. I mean a girl needs to know how much she weighs no matter where she is.
But I really don’t know what that looks like or feels like. And today I needed a few kilos of a vegetable. I had planned to find loose veggies in the bin and then I would run over to the little man so he could plop it on the scale, weigh it and slap a sticker price on it. But the produce I was looking for was already wrapped and boxed. Hmmm, what to do?
Crunch time. I had to do some math. Fail.
Because it was in grams. Whoa! Wait a second! We were just talking about kilos. Not grams. That’s when the big, white, English-speaking man pops into my world.
I will try to learn. But not sure it’s going to take.
Because I will always associate kilos with big drug busts in Miami. Grams are the mothers of your mom and dad. Meters are something to be fed so you don’t get a parking fine and not the height of your husband. Liters are lighters spelled incorrectly. Centigrade will always be that little creepy, many-legged insect. Silos, for me, will conjure up an image of red barns in the middle of snow-swept farms across the Midwest.
So, you see, it won’t be easy. I will try. I will. But it’s not going to be easy. I am in for a penny and in for a pound! Or is that in for a penny and in for a kilo? Or is it in for a penny and in for a 2.2?
Will keep you posted on any success.