Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

If we take the photo in the late evening, the sky looks blue!
- Lagarde

The German tourist would have been, if I were any judge of character at all, typical of his ilk.

He wore a black ski suit (or what I take to be a ski suit but may just be fashionable "walk to the marina" wear), stocky of build tending towards too portly for his loose fitting tights and topped by what would have been a head of grey hair had it not been shaved a few days or perhaps a week ago.  Had he been sporting a pair of white shoes and a heavy gold bracelet or a signet ring with a Mercedes badge on it, the picture in my mind would have been complete and I may have thought I was back at Marina Mirage.

There was a sort of confident rather than arrogant air about him, as he wandered quietly down to the end of the pontoon where I was intent one more time on not completing the reglazing of the front window.  I didn't ignore him, but I didn't look up either until the inquiry came, in an accent which I barely understood.

"Parlez vous Anglais?". Nothing in that question or the manner in which it was asked meshed in any way with the view of this fellow that I'd already formed.

"Enough to make myself understood," I replied in my most laconic tone, with perhaps a dash of whimsy thrown in.

"Ochhh dar's greet" he in turn responded, in a most un-Teutonic way and then proceeded to enquire very politely if it was OK for him to berth his hire boat in front of us.

Jim it turns out, speaks German without any hint of his native Scottish brogue.  A Scotsman called JIm, can you imagine it?  The ski suit, usually worn by tourists as some sort of affectation, is apparently actually the most convenient way for a Scottish Ski instructor from an Austrian resort who lives in Germany, to keep warm and dry when he's hiring a boat in France.   

 His wife Monika who is German but uses the bits of his accent that he no longer needs when she speaks English, rues the way her once Oxford tongue began to dissolve from the day that she met him. 

Who needs windows in a boat when there are two more delightfully colourful lifetimes to find out about and only one night to do it in!

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