Return to sender

I have just received a parcel today to my hotel and its like Xmas day for me.

My mother kindly sent to me some mail (incl my new Travel Club membership), a couple of t-shirts, a badly needed nose and ear trimmer and most importantly, my prescription for my thyroid as I had desperately run out.

You might think, why did I not make arrangements to get 6 months worth before I set off and I tried. The nurse tells you one thing, the doctor tells you another and then reception at the surgery disregards everything, bloody shambles and we have all been there and deal with it. Just quickly – never use Pharos Parcel on George Street, rip off merchants by the way and in my sights.

So, almost 3 weeks and £75 later and thankfully I have everything I need – this is the bad side of travelling. What hoops you have to jump thru before you go and how others make it difficult, expensive and profit from you. It cost me only $16 to send a parcel to Kat with some magnets and Weasel droppings Coffee for the boys. I’m luck ma mammy was able to dae stuff for me.

Enough about that, what a hoot I have had these past two days. No photo’s, these are two stories about people and what a fool I can be and how much fun I’ve had with things so simple and situations where locals are desperate to learn, converse and do as much for you as possible.

I visited the Da Nang Ho Chi Minh and Military Zone 5 museum yesterday. Another museum Wardy you say, but no, while this was, it was different and fascinating, that will come in a later post. Twice I tried to wander into area/building I should not have done and the wee security woman, twice come chasing after me. I was looking for the Ho Chi Minh house and she kindly took me there.

We take off our shoes and head upstairs in what is only a replica of his house in Saigon. Two floors with decking, fairly basic, but very peaceful. It feels like she’s guarding me, so I look and don’t touch, but she is keen to chat. We’ve been introduced, she knows I’m Scottish and she says that she finds it easier to understand me and I openly admit that I have slowed my speech specifically, to reply so she can understand. I’m learning as I go along.

We wander out and I comment how quiet it was today. 3 Schools had just left, along with a tour group and she says time of week, time of day, always slow. She asks if we could talk? ‘I thought we were’ I quickly reply and she looks at me puzzidly, so we sit and chat – about English and Scottish accents of all things. She finds me ok to understand, quite clear, from which I educate her on some Scottish dialect.

Perth is a conservative town I say, I have a telephone voice (putting my mobile up to my ear) and my normal chatty voice. I type into my phone on Google translate the sentence:

‘Good morning beautiful, how are you? I think the museum is great. Can you tell me where you will be going today?’

“Ah yes” she says in response, I understand. I get out a map of the UK and show her were Perth appears on the map and flapping around a little bit, I explain that there are differing accents depending on regions, for example in London (pointing at the map) they talk like this, putting on a bad cockney accent, pointing at the map and giving off a spiel about apples and pears, sounding like Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins I kid you not. I give her some scouse and finally a bit of Geordie and she’s smiling, but thinking what have I got into here.

I go back to the sentence and speak it slowly. I now say this is how I normally speak and rattle it off and she looks shocked. I slow down again and that’s how I speak back home and she laughs, tells me to wait and shouts over another guard. We show him the phone, the google translate and I say it slowly and he smiles. I say it again like I was speaking to you and he raises his head, flirts his eyes side to side and I explain that is the speed at how we converse.

The next 15 minutes is hilarious as we point to the map and I proceed to say the same phrase over and over again, but changing the wording slightly and adding a regional twang to my accent, slowed down somewhat so they can pick it up, but I am truly putting on the patter really thick. A couple of examples I have noted:

Glaswegian – awrite dar’lin, howsit goin ken. Yer hoose is braw by the way, where ya going noo?

Edinburgh – Spiffing morning, how the devil are you, one’s old bean? one think’s the museum is spiffing. Can you tell myself where you will be going today?’

Inverness – ‘Good morning ya Teuchter, are ye up in yer cuddy? I ink e museum’s great.  Furraboots ya going tha day?’

I’m in fine form, so I jump onto Facebook and load up the recent post by my old gaffer Muriel Uibokand who has been away south celebrating Hackies birthday. I show her photo, get the map zoomed into Kinross and as best as I could, give it…

Guid morn bonnie lass, fit loch en? Ah hink th’ museum is stoatin. can ye teel me whaur ye will be gonnae the-day?’

Minds blown, they ask me to say it again and a third time. The three of us are just laughing and giggling and I am sure if their boss had happened to walk by, they would get a rollickin. We shake hands and bow and I say cheerio.

French Toast

This morning I fancied some French toast and what a palava it was to get it ordered. My hotel has a breakfast buffet, cucumber, watermelon, cooked rice, sausage, and lots of Asian dishes, greens and the likes, it’s quite varied. Tea, coffee and fruit juice is available, but you can get them to make noodle dishes, eggs and if necessary an omelette.

I ask for some French toast and get puzzled looks. The waiter and the chef boy stare at me and I say in response ‘Eggy bread’, i’m clutching at straws here man, so I point to the eggs he has at the side, the mini frying pan and the bread I am now holding in my hand. Their glaring at me now, jeez. I ask for a bowl and two eggs and quickly passed over, I crack the eggs in the bowl, grab a fork and start whisking. The chef registers, takes the bowl, dips the bread and were off man!!  Whoo hooo




2 thoughts on “Return to sender

  1. Jings Alan you fair cheer up my dad with your blog, I was in kinks at it today! Hear from your soon in your next instalment x


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