Sunday, 25 July 2010

Say what?

M and Z (who are completely sober) are queuing together with half of the island’s population and some lost tourists, waiting to enter a night club. To kill time they do what most people in a similar situation would do: they engage in an interesting conversation about something completely irrelevant. And since their language of communication is usually Polish, that’s the language they choose this time as well. The drunken teenagers behind them start whispering and pondering [oooh, how fascinating, there are two real life foreigners standing in front of us], thinking that the noun foreigner equals the adjective clueless. Z takes a deep breath, turns around and gives the girls a big smile:

Z (in the poshest English she can master): Excuse me, if you are wondering something about us, you are more than welcome to ask us directly to our faces, there is no need to talk about people behind their backs. Please remember that people might actually understand what you are saying about them, even if they are speaking in another language.

Drunken teenager: oh, you understand what we are saying? Are you [bad word] Russians?

Z (gets annoyed and switches to Swedish): well, for your information, I’m from this island and I understand everything you say perfectly well. Besides, it’s not very well-mannered to use that kind of words when you ask people where they are coming from, or in any other context either, for that matter. And by the way, do you have a problem with Russians?

Some mumbling follows.

Drunken teenager: Sorry, but you can’t be from here. I refuse to believe it, it’s just not possible. You look Russian and you speak Swedish with an English accent.

Z (looks up to the skies and thinks to herself): well, if coming from this island means that I need to hang out with such cultivated and well-mannered people like you, then I almost prefer to be homeless and nationless. Then she turns to the girls, smiles and wishes them a very nice evening.

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