Well, despite still doing a good impression of “Eyegore” from Young Frankenstein due to left side being useless, I’m coming out of it. The attitude is returning.
I am not, by nature, aggressive or mean but I feel some people are on this earth to learn a lesson and if I can give Fate a helping hand, so much the better. Badger says I am dangerous and need a guardian … matter of opinion.
You will all have realised by now that I am used to being a stranger in a foreign land and I have a few tricks up my sleeve. In Germany, where people are very accommodating and pleasant, I am polite and civil – if they say something I don’t understand because my German is crap, I tap my ear and tutt at myself, meaning – do forgive me but my hearing isn’t what it could be.
Without fail, they talk slowly, mime and point. That helps enormously. I shake hands, thank them effusively and all is well – but that is the civilised Germans.
Today I went to ask someone if he might stop whistling. Not a cheery, whistle while you work tootle, but like he had lost a dog. I thought if he HAD done so I might help him but as he has been at it 24/7 for three days I doubt it.
My trick over here where I am not known is to carry a large dictionary. It is obvious from my accent that I am foreign. The dictionary is similar to a walking stick – please be nice to this funny lady who cannot walk properly – let her cross the road and you’ll get a cheery wave and a grin – everyone feels good about themselves.
However – there is another use for it. Today when I went politely to ask the man if he had lost his dog, because my own dog was distressed by his calling, he said some very rude things; I smiled and nodded and then opened my dicttionary, muttering “Je m’en fous de toi et ton chien”, as if remembering what he had said – that in itself is a bit awkward. He stood there while I thumbed through the pages, repeating the mantra.
Satisfied that I had understood I smiled at him, closed the dictionary and whopped him around the ear with it.
What was he going to say? Nasty crippled foreign lady hit me? Not good for street cred.