Stupid rabies. When am I going to stop having you?
It must have been after seeing GANDHI that I asked my mother was fasting was. The movie came out in 1982, but, if you remember, VHS releases were sometimes two years after the theatrical one so I probably asked sometime around 1985. Shortly after being told what it meant, I put together that “breakfast” was the breaking of the period of not eating.
More than 20 years later, I had the same stupid epiphany in Spain. I had to go to an employer-mandated medical checkup (for insurance purposes) and was pretty annoyed that I’d had to alter my schedule considerably to make the appointment. When I got there, the nurse asked me if I was in ayunas and I stared at her blankly because I had no idea what she was talking about. Of course, ayunas is the back half of desayunar, to eat breakfast. I had to reschedule and go back another day, without eating, so I was triply pissed (rabies, no food, schedule change).
You see where this is going, right? The same thing happened to me again, but this time in French. I went to get some blood tests done for my doctor and the receptionist asked, <<êtes-vous à jeun?>> Was I “at young”? It seemed a weird question but people often ask me if I’m a student so I scoffed and said, “Not anymore!” She looked more confused than I had been, then explained that she was asking if I’d eaten. Jeûne like déjeuner. De meaning “un” and jeûne like “fast.”
Ugh. I had to go back another day.
Just to confuse the matter further
For the record, in Catalan, “breakfast” is esmorzar and “fasting” is dejuni. I fear I’ll never get these straight.