We took ourselves over to the Artisan Market today. Well it was a lovely morning and the Frenchie Group had gone to London. Sadly, they had to travel via bus and train as there were Engineering Works at Gatwick so they would be away a long, long time. So we used the opportunity to wander around and see what was for sale. I got waylaid at the Olive Counter and tasted so many garlic olives of various varieties that by 10.00am I had raging indigestion and was feeling sick. Oh, where is that Gavescon when you need it??
I happened about a lovely Bread Stall and starting talking to the guy there I could tell he wasn’t English ( his accent you know 🙂 ) and so I asked him where he was from. He told me Israel but that he had been here for 10 years discovering the roots of his grandparents who, he said, rather obliquely, had left Europe for Israel ab0ut 70 years ago. ” Oh, I said, did they live in Germany?” LM looked at me and tried to move me on. I think his look could best be described as a ” dirty” one but I wasn’t put off. I find history; civilisation and culture fascinating. Well after all it is a natural assumption that if you were Jewish and you ended up in “Israel” about that time, that you had previously lived in Germany or its surrounding countries. I really wanted to chat to him about this after a very engaging conversation he started about Jews and Muslims living side by side and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
Sadly, the queue was getting longer whilst he was replying to me and LM said I was being very insensitive mentioning ” the War!”. I found this to be very strange because conflict as well as peace makes us what we are but he led me away before he said, I would say something racially insensitive! W.T.F.!!!!!!!
Its also Shakespeare Week, as most of you know and it was lovely to see so many Pop Up Theatres around the Town. In fact on our footbridge over the river into Town, some young College Students had been quoting Shakespeare since early on and it was great to stop and watch them and catch one’s breath. I did admire these kids just performing their craft on a windy Footbridge over the River Adur but more than anything I love where I live for its wonderful events and activities that take place here on the River.
( remind me, if you are still awake later in the year, to tell you about the annual Bath Tub Race from Beeding to Shoreham – such good old fashioned fun that the Pleasure Police are sure to stop it sooner or later) The aim being to get down the river from Beeding to Shoreham and avoid the missiles that the onlookers hurl at you…bags of flour to try to sink the crafts being the most favoured
I have just read an email from Dennis Much Humper. A lovely man and I am very fond of him. An absolutely brilliant teacher and mentor, the students love him to bits. He also has a very amusing ” turn of phrase” and has just finished his World Tour ( well sort of ) with The Kinks or someone like that. ( I shall google it and find out ). Dennis also has a wonderful eye for the ladies and our female teachers always fall for his flattery. Even the time he took, not only food into the Synagogue, but banned food ( as in a Prawn Pot Noodle) he got away with it by flirting with the Rabbi’s secretary and telling her that he did not have his glasses on and thought he had bought the Kosher Pot Noodle ( very popular, apparently, on the Gaza Strip, not!) ( Dennis and his Pot noodle story is the link below, should you be so inclined)
Dennis is up for doing some more Summer School teaching. I was rather pleased to hear that because I know that whoever is in Dennis’s class wont be disappointed. However, last year we had a bit of a fright where Dennis was doing a ” question and answer lesson” and asked the students 10 things they did in say, ” the house” ” the bus” ” on the beach” ” in the shop”. Its a sort of Ice Breaker for new students and allows him to see what level their English is at. He was taking a new German group and even though they seemed very meek and quiet on arrival, within an hour of the lessons starting, a few had already made their mark. Dennis told me that he didn’t know if he could last the week with them and if Dennis couldn’t last the week, then I don’t know who could….and the conversation went like this…..
” Hi Den, how’s it going?” I asked as I passed him in the corridor
“Bloody awful. I need some more material.”
“Why, what’s wrong? You don’t normally get it wrong regarding their levels”
“Oh its not their levels, its their understanding of English. I wish they wouldn’t watch some many American films” ( that’s it, blame the Americans, Dennis. I know I do 🙂 )
He came up to me and looked to see who was listening. I caught a whiff of Garlic and Pot Noodle. He adds the garlic to make it less MSG and more continental. ” Well I asked the group to name 5 things they would do or see in a car”
I nodded at this. Nice touch. Going well, I thought. Nice little ice breaker and engages the group.
“Well this girl came up to me and said ” Blow job. I always give my boyfriend a blow job in the car!” Dennis paused for effect and then told me that he replied…”Oh well, interesting response but its not one I have on the list . Any other ideas” and tried to move the question on hoping none of the other kids would understand. Ha ha, some chance, eh?. After I had opened and closed my mouth a few times he continued. ” and that was in the first 30 minutes of the lesson. Not sure that I can always continue in a calm manner as I did this morning. But there is worse…”
Worse, surely not I thought!
“As the class was erupting in laughter over her response and she was sitting very proudly and clapping herself, Lana who had been in the corner collecting up the Exam papers suddenly stood up and shouted ” filthy mouth. filthy bitch. ( well, probably “beeech”, the way Lana pronounces it ) and stormed over to the girls desk and pointed her finger at her
” You don’t speak like that in front of others. Dirty Pig. In Russia we would shoot you for that” the whole class was stunned in silence and Dennis told Lana that she should leave the room. Before she did she shouted ” and remember we won you dirty Germans in the War. We did it once. We do it again. I watch you!” and she did the two fingers on the eyes and point gesture at the class and left. We kept Lana on accommodation duty after that. Well out of the way of the classes.
So you can see why I was pleased to hear that Dennis will return regardless and as for Lana, I shall put her with the Japanese this year. Quiet, gentle and respectful. It will be an interesting mix and maybe, just maybe, Lana might learn a thing or two from them.