Here are some excerpts.
CONVERSATIONS WITH PEDESTRIANSThe chapter of (thwarted) telephone conversations is also a treat. As are the black and white photos scattered throughout. Next time.
- Hey buddy, how 'bout getting a light off you?
-What's that? I don't understand.
- Got a match, got a light?
- No, I don't. I don't smoke.
- Could you tell me where the nearest restroom is?
- There's no restroom here.
- Well excuse me.
- Go into the nearest cafeteria, they always have a restroom.
(A policeman can address you with a megaphone.)
- Young woman in blue jeans, why are you going through a red light, are you tired of living?
- Young man in the raincoat, turn back, this is not a crosswalk.
- What are you doing coming into the snack bar wearing a wet jacket?
- Well where can I put it?
- Jackets and raincoats have to be checked in the cloakroom.
- Where's the cloakroom?
- Downstairs, in the basement. On the right as you enter.
- Young woman, why don't you have a coat tab? Here inside the collar there should be a little loop, it's called a вешзалка.
- In America, we don't hang things up by tabs.
- But we do. You have to sew one on, or else I won't take it next time.
- I'm sorry, I'll definitely sew one on.
I think there ought to be a companion Situational Dialogs for Portland. A solid start might be the actual sign posted by the cash register at Crema.
- We will not make you a 16-ounce cappuccino. If you insist, we will make you an extra-foamy latte.
The chapters "Conversations Among Lesbians" and "At The Dog Park" will be extra rich.
Meanwhile, a visual accompaniment: A Soviet Poster A Day!