Odd email

Adel Gabot



I got a very interesting email yesterday afternoon.

It purported to be from the assistant to the Ambassador of the Czechoslovakian Embassy To The Philippines writing in behalf of the Ambassador, and the assistant was asking about an old translated-to-Czech short story of mine from 1989.

They were collating stories translated to the Czech language for a collection, and they didn’t have a copy of one of mine but had the title in Czech: “Darovanému koňovi sa na zuby nehľadí”. Could I perhaps remember what it was?

At first glance, it seemed like one of those spam/scam emails we frequently get. It was couched in formal-speak and had the usual niceties, which was what constituted 95% of those spurious spam/scams. I almost trashed it out of hand, but gave it a closer look when I noticed they had included titles of my other work available online, and the sender addressed me as Mr. Gabot, not the usual Mr. To-Whom-It-May-Concern.

It also said that the Ambassador was a fan of the sci-fi genre, and would like to meet with me one of these days to have a “healthy discussion” of the topic.


I reluctantly replied, because I was still unsure if this was a scam or the real thing.

I told the assistant that I honestly couldn’t remember which of my stories it was, it was so long ago—over 25 years now. I do remember some stories I wrote that were translated into European languages back then, but I couldn’t remember the circumstances nor the details. I told her that I would try to recall them, and would write back if I did.

I ended my reply with an equally polite “yes, I would love to meet with the Ambassador one of these days to discuss the genre”, and sent it last night.

I don’t expect a response, but it was a weird letter just the same. Also, it was kind of nice to know that some people outside my little world here appreciate my writing.

But still, how odd.

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