My car pool had determined that as a native English speaker, I was obligated to teach them two new words a day. The program seemed to be going well.
On Wednesday the driver pointed at the windshield.
“Windshield,” I said.
It came out the next day that this had been a misunderstanding. The driver had actually been pointing through the windshield at a horse and cart.
I explained the options for animal-pulled transportation and their various conditional uses: cart, carriage, buggy. The lesson was satisfactory and met with some approval. Later on in the day the lesson became more relevant when Kenta needed to change money on the way home, and a donkey-pulled cart collided with our vehicle as we were stopped on the side of the road.
“I never should have asked to stop for my personal reasons.” Kenta shook his head regretfully.
“At least the English lesson will be useful,” I said.
That afternoon I stopped by a French development organization that had offered me a job.
Me: As headquarters explained it to me, they can’t hire me until this other key position has been filled, or it’s like putting the cart before the horse.
Them 1: Right, except in this case, we don’t even have a horse.
Them 2: There is no horse.