Friday, February 27, 2009

At the Rental Car Counter

The agent who helped me brought up my reservation and asked where my last name was from. I said Czechoslovakia. She said that in Tagalog, it means "to go upstairs."

I think it's pretty cool that it's an action verb. Whenever I think of my last name, I think of my grandpa as a child in Bratislava. I've heard his stories (how he tells stories!) about the house that had seemed so big to him. And the window he wasn't tall enough to look through, but and had to boost himself up with a chair if he wanted to see what was happening on that side of the neighborhood.

I don't know why people ridicule rental cars. Working door handles, non-leaking sunroof, shiny paint. All this and customer service with some etymological trivia served up with a smile and a wonderful Filipino laugh. What's not to love?

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