Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Simple repairs for common household items

Occasionally I get really incensed hearing men constantly droning on about how gorgeous Polish girls are: hence the slight diatribe at W-Wa in the form of a comment on an earlier post. Generally one thinks, well, women have other qualities apart from the ability to look decorative. Like designing buildings, curing illnesses, sitting in a little box and turning one language into another and back again in a matter of seconds. Why focus on prettiness? It's not something that any of us can do very much about.

However, as a rule I have to admit I agree. When you walk down the street in a Polish town the other women are much more likely to be attractive and slim than in the UK, where I am increasingly surprised by the size of everyone.

There's a quote from Family Guy where the teenage daughter asks Death to kill all the girls that are prettier than her: 'Well that would just leave England'. Ouch. And secretly, I'm proud of being asked for directions, not because I look like a local but because it implies- as a Pole suggested- that I don't look stereotypically ugly enough to be a Brit. Thanks. I think.

Well, I'm afraid I'm letting the side down something chronic at the moment.

Yesterday morning I hauled myself out of bed several minutes before the alarm (which I forgot to set anyway) and staggered into the bathroom, apparently via Switzerland and the hanging gardens of Babylon.*
The face in the mirror looked as though it had been punched by the back end of a bus through a hedge backwards.
Several hours of vodka and bawling your eyes out is not the ideal way to stay young and beautiful. Salt water is most terribly dehydrating to the skin.

Students of interpreting often practice with speeches which describe a process. These are easier to remember because they have a logical progressive sequence. For example, the process of making a cup of coffee or of ironing a shirt.

For students then, here are some key English expressions to use in the process of breaking off a relationship. Anglophones, repeat with me- I think we know them by heart by now:

- This is going to be one of those difficult conversations (good opener)
- It's not you, it's me (classic)
- I think you're a really great person (but:)
- I really, really like spending time with you (this is pushing it)
- If we'd already been together twenty years, this would be fantastic (you should be so lucky)
- My friends will tell me I'm an idiot (aims to flatter but generally ineffective)
- Actually there's this other girl (wait for it...)
- Nothing's actually happened
- Can we still be friends?

Szanowny Państwo, dziękuję za uwagę.

This time, I gave back the jumper (didn't suit me).

I kept the 1999 Rioja Reserva.

*Mr Izzard: sorry yet again.


Kinuk said...

Oh dear...I'm really sorry. I thought you were kidding in your last post.

Btw, am working on that meme. It will appear soon.

Dictor Toolittle said...

Needless to say we cannot join the phrases freely: = I think you're a really great person. It's not you, it's me.

Unlike Kinuk, I didn't think P. was kidding - but supposed a proper / polite / expected reaction was to keep tactfully silent and/or divert attention to other subject(s). Now I see that finding knob or toss-pot synonyms could have worked better.

Last time I was asked directions by Poles was in London, and in broken English. I fear to guess what that might mean. Anyway, my thoughts tell me I'm an idiot. (classic)

pinolona said...

Uh. No, Dictor, that's not exactly right. In reality I don't think Car Guy is a knob or a toss-pot or anything of the kind. I like him an awful lot and what happened is just unfortunate and that's what life is like. But when you feel shitty and you're hurting it's tempting to try and hurt back in whatever way you can, however silly or futile it might be.

Or to try and make amusing stories out of things which hurt or scare you so that they come back under your control. You spill it all out and say, look, here I am all messy and human, and it's not so bad anymore.

Plus I'm having trouble thinking of anything else right now...

Kinuk: I look forward to reading your meme. Don't worry, I noticed you'd been having technical problems: hope you manage to get your old posts back!