Happy Talk


You know something, sometimes its the most simplest of things that can make one helluva difference to how your feeling.

Out was out earlyish the other day on my wanders and working my waaay back in the heat, I stopped off in a park, about 10 mins walk from my gaff as it looked and interesting place, but importantly peaceful. When I say peaceful, I mean no hawkers, trying to get me into their café, sell me something or give me a massage. Just oldies walking, putting in a shift to keep fit. So I sat on a park bench, whacked on some Glen Campbell and watched the world go by, getting bitten to hell by the midgies.

A joker kneels doon in front of me, with his wooden carry box, says ‘where you from m8? ‘Scotland brother’ and he points to my trainers. ‘Aye their a pair oh doozy’s them laddie, you will no get theses in yer box standard Adidas shops over there I’ll tell ya’. He pulls oot a wet toothbrush fae his half bottle of soapy liquid and goes to brush the white part of my trainers. I give it the famous Lummy response – don’t touch me or my stuff, now beat it. Harsh maybe, but you don’t touch a man’s trainers.

Now, I get there is a common thing that happens in local parks, where people like to use tourists to practise their English. And so it would be, as the very beautiful and new facebook friend Chau, waiting to meet her friends, started chatting and we got on like a house on fire. I’m conscious I’m hard to understand cos I speak 4x as fast ged. But I’ve got ma posh phone voice on, nae Letham twang to be found and there is always the moby to type to help translate.

She’s keen to know about Scotland, so I show her the snow. We talk about cost of living, jobs, house process and culture and before we know the sun is setting, it a litter darker and the park is coming to life with dance classes and rowdy teenagers hanging in their ‘gangs’, but in a nice way.

I’ve chatted in pubs, cafe’s, on buses, plane’s and in hotel receptions throughout my travels, so far. All interesting, meaningful and in most cases with helpful advice. This was different, Christ I was even talking about work, complaints and how meters work? Just pure daft. But this was nice, two different people, from different culture’s, passing the time, learning from each other.

If you ever get stopped by someone just looking to chat and practise their English on you or to learn about home, take the time, its feels greeeeat. For instance, did you know that Chau, was in a job that worked 1pm-9pm and she was always tired when she got home. A couple of lassie’s left on maternity, she got their workload, with no extra support, so she quit, got another job working for 4 hours for 80% of the money. Bright as button, well done lass!


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