Recently a member of Mee Len’s family was diagnosed as having cancer of the liver, which does not have a good prognosis.
The doctor suggested that it would be in his best interest to go to seek expert advice and treatment in Kuala Lumpa, Malaysia. This would mean a long car journey of perhaps five hours from Penang to KL (Kuala Lumpa), mostly by a motorway.
As this journey is long, soul draining, one of his sons who lives in KL drove up to collect his father and take him down to stay a couple of weeks whilst tests were done and treatment given. After some rest, they returned to their home here in BM (Bukit Mertajam), Penang. Again being driven back.
Since then a few weeks have past, and another appointment was made for a follow-up check-up in KL, meaning they would have to travel down that motorway again.
The conversation I heard was that they would “follow” their son, who was staying with them at the time, down to KL.
So, in my mind I saw the son driving his car, with the mother and father following behind, in their car
“To follow” means from the internet site http://www.elook.org/dictionary “to travel behind, go after, come after“.
From http://ardictionary.com the definition is “To go or come after; to move behind in the same path or direction”.
I was confused, thinking he would not be well enough to drive for five hours, but I was not privy to his health, so said nothing. Perhaps I should have cleared my confusion by verifying my understanding.
Yesterday, they return again to Bukit Mertajam, but caught a train from KL, a journey time of over seven hours.
I was even more confused. Why catch a train when their car is with them in KL? How are they going to get the car back?
When I queried this, I was given a very strange look. Was I stupid? The car is in Bukit Mertajam, not KL.
Then I found out, or informed, that the literal translation in the Chinese language to English of “to follow“, is “to go with“.
How often do problems arise, arguments ensue, through misunderstandings, misinterpreting, not really understanding what we have been told or what we have said, “putting our own cat on the mat”?
Oh Poo Poo. Wrong again.
The use of the word “follow” was ambiguous.