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Stranger in a strange land

By Mr Grumpy - Thu 20th Oct 2011

I was on my way to my Spanish language class the other night. The course, which is kindly funded by my local Ayuntamiento for the benefit of foreign residents, is held in the local village school, and as I live in the campo I have to drive there. It was almost dark when I pulled up to the parking space and got my books out of the car boot to make my way across the carpark and towards the school.

As I walked away from my car I was concious of about five teenagers stomping across the car park towards me.

I gave them my best glower and prepared myself to give the largest one a kick to the jangly bits before they could jump me and leave me in a puddle of my own bodily fluids.

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They ignored my glower and instead bid me good evening in faltering English and asked me if I had had a pleasant afternoon, and if I was there for the Spanish lessons.

I was obviously taken aback at this new mugging tactic, until I realised that they just wanted the opportunity to practice a bit of English with me. The sign on the school gate, which I was heading for, together with the fact that I could not possibly look any more English than I already do - even if I had a union jack tatooed across my forehead, told them that I was a reasonable target for them to chat with.

I wonder, if roles were reversed in my local town in the UK, would the teenagers rush up to a stranger in a darkened car park to practice their Polish or Latvian or Urdu with them ? - Or would they be more likely to tax their unsuspecting visitors for the priveledge of crossing their 'turf' ?

My money is on the latter.

Comment on this Blog

 
I love this post Mr. Grumpy. I was guiri-jumped myself in broad day light this week and was assaulted by rapid-fire eenglees for half an hour. I almost had to be hospitalised for verbal trauma to the head, as well as for having suffered the Clear and Present Danger of a Spaniard using the same 5 mistakes as all others do. Obviously language crime is on the rise - weŽd better watch out!
Mo - Tue, 25th Oct 2011
Sadly, I have to admit that your final suggestion is more likely to be the case !
Tony Green - Mon, 24th Oct 2011
Definately wouldnt happen in Batley !!
Mags - Fri, 21st Oct 2011

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