Yesterday afternoon, I went down to my friendly neighborhood pharmacist in Sanur to buy a box of Gabapentin, which she is kind enough to order for me every month, and found that the masseuse was there as well, a young Balinese woman by the name of Ayu. She offered a massage, and I decided it was just the thing I needed for my aching back and shoulder.
Setting to work, she soon discovered the trouble spot through the knowledgeable tips of her fingers.
"Ahh!" she said. "Pegal persis di sini."
Stiff right here. You bet it is.
So she worked and worked at that spot and we chatted while she worked.
"Bahasa anda sudah lancer," she commented.
Literally, this means that I can speak Indonesian fluently. But of course, I can do no such thing. One hears this phrase often enough, and I think what it really means is that you are doing a good job of muddling through rather than not succeeding at all.
She went on to ask whether I could teach her to speak English.
"Sure," I answered.
"Oh, no, no. You are busy."
"Not at all."
"I am bothering you."
"Nope. I have all the time in the world on my hands."
So she took my phone number and, who knows? I may soon have a student.