I studied hard to learn English when I came here, and I did it the old fashioned way. I listened to TV and radio and wrote down the words that I didn’t understand; I looked them up in the dictionary and scribbled the meaning and the translation in my notebook.
I remember when I heard the word HEARTBURN for the first time. I didn’t even have to look it up; I understood instantly. HEART and BURN = HEARTBURN, what a beautiful word and so easy to understand. When your heart burns with desire for the one you love, that’s when you have heartburn.
Months later I felt sad; my husband was working out of town for two months, and I missed him terribly. We were newlyweds and so much in love; I was moping around like a lost puppy.
My new friend, the butcher in our grocery store, noticed it. “What’s wrong with you,” he asked and I told him that I had heartburn.
“Wait,” he said, “I have something that will help,” and he handed me two colorful, big pills.
“Take this; it helps I have heartburn all the time.”
What an amazing country, they even have medication for people who are lovesick. I was stunned. “Just let them dissolve in your mouth,” he added, “you will feel better instantly.” I couldn’t wait to try them, but didn’t want to take the pills in the store, decided to take them at home instead. Who knows how I will react!
I went to the pharmacy, “Maybe I should buy more,” I thought, after all, my husband would still be gone for a few weeks. I showed the pills to the pharmacist and he handed me a bottle.
The medication was for an upset stomach, but also promised to help with heartburn and indigestion. Now that just didn’t make any sense at all.
I went home and read up on heartburn. I felt like a fool, and not for the first time.
English can be a tricky language.