As I write this I’m in quite a strop, so before you continue make sure you’re wearing appropriate protective equipment.
So, it’s day two of the translators’ conference and we’ve had a bit of time to get to know each other. It appears that while I’ve been buried in the shed in France for the past couple of years the world has changed. And not in a good way. At what point during this time did people become so shockingly rude? In the past day I’ve had to put up with people chit-chatting away while a presenter was talking, loudly enough to provide an annoying distraction. I’ve had someone walk off while – I thought – we were talking. I’ve had another woman pretty much turn her back on me while I was trying to make polite conversation and a third woman who couldn’t have made it clearer she wasn’t the least bit interested in what I had to say. Of course it can be difficult to make conversation with a stranger, but for god’s sake we’re at a conference where half the reason for being there is to network! Even if I’m the most boring person on earth, anyone with any kind of good manners at all will make the effort to hold a conversation.
I have a new theory, which is that any expat whose name has more syllables than your own is likely to treat you as their social inferior. This certainly seemed to be the case for Isabel and Felicity and explains why me and Helen got on just fine. This new theory goes hand in hand with my old theory which is that most British expats are expats because they are so unbearable that they cannot live amongst their countrymen. Especially when they have multisyllabic names.
Away from the conference, I am utterly charmed by the locals. They listen to my pitiful attempts to speak Spanish with patience and courtesy and slow down their answers to a pace I can just about understand. They’re helpful, kind and cheerful. I wish there were more people in the world like them. Viva Espana !
In honour of the lovely Catalans, today’s tune is from here. It is Gerard Quintana, with Barcelona en Colors. Sounds a bit like Plastic Bertrand and Ca plane pour moi. Cool.