My Rakastani Heart

Share

“Bir chok sok bira lutfen”, I pronounce carefully.
“What?”
“Yeah, that’s how you ask for a very cold beer in Turkish.”
Tanya giggles then continues,
“So that’s the thing you can say in seven different languages?”
“Yup.. think it might be more now…but it’s been the most useful thing to learn for some reason.”
“What about saying ‘I love you’?”
“Oh I can say that in a few languages too, but it’s not really my style to walk up to random foreign women and tell them I love them. Just too painfully fake for me.”
“I can say it in five languages I think.”
“You actually speak five languages Tanya, so you could say it and then write poetry about your man in his language of choice.”
She looks confused and embarrassed for a while, then starts again.
“Well..maybe it’s true, I hadn’t thought about it. But I’m learning Finnish now, so it will be six soon.”
“So you like finnish men then?”
She cast her eyes down and her face blushes a little.
“Yes, there’s one in particular I like a lot”
“You think he’s cute, so you’re going to learn his language?”
“Ummm…..something like that…Do you think he will like me?”
“Tanya, you’re beautiful, incredibly smart and have a wickedly cute smile. He’d have to be blind or stupid to not like you.”
She shifts uncomfortably and looks out of the train window for a moment.
“So how do you say ‘I love you’ in finnish?”
“Umm… oh it would be ‘minä rakastan sinua’…it literally translates as ‘I’ ‘love’ and ‘you’.”
Something twinges in my mind and I can feel a surge of laughter building in me.
“Wait a minute…hold up there…so the finnish word for ‘love’ is rakastan?”
“Umm..yes… the verb is rakkaus and the conjugation is right… so you can just say ‘rakastan sinua’ and it works.”
“You don’t think it sounds like a country somewhere in central asia?”
She pauses and her head falls to one side as she considers it. A smile grows slowly on her face.
“Maybe you’re right…it does…maybe somewhere near pakistan or kyrgyzstan.”
“But this is the country of love. Every time you say it’s name you’re saying ‘I love'”, I add.  I’m enjoying the idea immensely.
“It is! It is!”, Tanya erupts excitedly and we both laugh hysterically for a while. Tanya looks up at me and asks,
“So where should this country be exactly?”
“Hmmm…. I think it exists wherever love does. A country without land to get attached to.”
“It’s a good point.”
Tanya’s features darken for a while. She is from Serbia and grew up there during the vicious war in the nineties. I think she could teach the world something about how much damage war does to a country’s children, but you’d hardly know talking to her every day. She’s normally filled with a bright, happy, positive energy that is highly addictive. She grabs my arm and continues,
“So how would you get a into Rakastan?”
“I think you just have to be in love to get the visa.”
“With another person?”
“Hmmm…good point…not necessarily…I think if you feel love in your heart it’s enough. So it could be love for the world, or a plant, or a poem… just the feeling is what’s important.”
“I want to go there!”, she announces wistfully.
“Well, I just declared myself president, seeing as how I discovered it, so I’d be happy to process your visa application for you now.”
She laughs and pretends to take her heart out and hold it gently in her hands.
“Here you go, is there enough love for my visa?”
“I’m not sure. Tell me about your finnish boy.”
She blushes again and looks down at her hands. She shifts uncomfortably again before looking into the distance and talking quietly.
“He’s lovely…so cute and sweet and he will be a doctor too, so we have everything in common and he’s just…wonderful.”
She turns slowly to look at me as she talks and her eyes have the soft, affectionate light in them that only comes with love.
“Welcome to Rakastan Miss Tanya! I hope you enjoy your stay here and you can always talk to our local guides if you need anything.”
“Thank you! So where can I find a guide?”
“Well…right now I’m the only one, but maybe you’d like to start the training program to become a Rakastan guide?”
“I think I want to be the postmaster instead.”

 

The Postmaster General of Rakastan

The Postmaster General of Rakastan

 

“Well..okay Miss Postmaster General of Rakastan, I hope you love your new job! … but why do you want to be the Postmaster?”
“I think it means every message of love will come by me to get to its destination.”
“You perve!”
She bursts out laughing and shakes her head furiously.
“No! ..not like that.. it’s just good to know there’s love in the world and the messages are proof.”
An announcement sounds above our heads that we’ve arrived at our station.
“So how do you get around in Rakastan exactly?”, she asks.
“On wings of pure love?”, I offer, unconvinced.
“On the back of a big furry bear”, Tanya replies.
“No! No! I’ve got it! You have giant penguins carry you around in their flippers to keep you safe and warm.”
We both giggle at the image for a few moments.
“I think penguins would be perfect”, Tanya concludes.
I can’t help but agree and ponder what tasks to begin first in my new role as the leader of Rakastan: The Country of Love.

Share

2 comments to My Rakastani Heart

  • Dhugal dearest, as your Finnish friend I have to correct that the verb for love is rakastaa. Just to say love (as a phenomenom) = rakkaus. I love = rakastan. Thank you for writing this. I remember when you first told me about the Country of Love and made me feel that it’s an honour to be a speaker of such a inspiring language. – Sini

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>