The Power of Garlic! -Conference Interpreting-

Yes, garlic is a very powerful substance that gives me super powers! Let me describe the first time I discovered this awesome power.

I was living in Brooklyn, New York having to make the daily commute to Manhattan. One day, I was running late, and I ran into my favorite deli for a toasted garlic bagel with cream cheese and a cup of coffee. I loved this place because their bagels were exceptional, and the garlic chunks were huge! There was no mistaking that they were indeed garlic bagels!

I grabbed my breakfast and rushed to the train station. It was the peak of the morning rush hour and the train was packed! So packed that not everyone could fit, even though several rude people pushed into the subway car, compressing us even more.

Once settled, crammed on all sides, I decided it was time to take a bite of my delicious bagel. As I unwrapped the aluminum foil surrounding my bagel, the wonderful aroma of freshly toasted garlic wafted through the air. Almost instantly I found myself with elbow room comfortably standing alone in a packed train.

As I enjoyed the delicious bagel I pondered the significance of what was happening. I discovered that the wonderful aroma that brought me so much comfort and joy was did not have the same effect on everyone. I discovered that the awesome power of garlic allowed me freedom of space and movement even in a packed train during peak travel time! What surprised me even more was that passengers preferred to locate themselves closer to the homeless guy that obviously hadn’t bathed in months than to stand next to me and my garlic bagel!

I bring this up because, in my mind, if everyone enjoys garlic, no one get offended. However, the world doesn’t revolve around me and my preferences.

This entire story has a purpose and leads to my point. The conference interpreter booth is a very tiny enclosed space where aromas can be trapped. Perfume is a bad idea because some folks have allergies to it. Taking a bath with soap and using deodorant is a very good idea.

After learning the power of garlic, I know better than to bring my cherished garlic bagel into the inner sanctum of the interpreter booth. I would also appreciate if my partner refrained from bringing in microwaved reheated fish soup! To some of my colleagues, the comforting aroma of fish soup to them is a horrid abomination to me. Now I understand how others in the train felt.

Anyway, please be considerate of your boothmate when it comes to smell.

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