Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Sunday 17th July - Bruges

We had a visit from the Politie today.  Not the “Grumpy”, or the “Bossy”; the “Politie”. For one who barely understands one language and therefore reduces every word he reads back in any other to a familiar phonetic context the very word is almost deliciously oxymoronic, perhaps harking back to the days when the word “Police” always had the word “Service” after it.  The officer concerned actually did very politely check our paperwork and safety equipment and went on his helpful and happy way, having notably conducted the entire interview in our language as a courtesy to us, not as one would have expected in that of his own country.

There was a time before terms like “roaming data” were invented, when every encounter on foreign soil was an adventure in itself.  Now even somewhat tongue in cheek mis-interpretations of words such as “Politie” are a thing of the past.  There’s an app for that now, the use of which takes all of the adventure and sadly, perhaps most of the romance out of travel.

If you are the sort of person who always eats hamburgers while in foreign lands lest you should accidentally point to the fresh monkey’s brains written on a chalkboard menu in some indecipherable script, worry no more.     The sheer wonder of watching the words on a sign or menu transform before one’s very eyes into something you can actually understand is a magical phenomenon that in times past may well have been mistaken for the sort of activity that had one burnt at the stake.

Anyone who’s ever ordered andouillette because it sounded nice (I actually quite like it), in a language they didn’t understand might be appreciative of this technology, yet one suspects that even they would lament the loss of that adventure that it brings.   

It’s no longer good enough to make a guess and hope for the best.  Have data, will travel!



Toby Harrison said...

I love the andouillette but Jan hates the smell. Keep experimenting. Toby

Anonymous said...

Andouillette? Non merci!

Vallypee said...

I think I'm a dinosaur. I don't use any apps and still prefer the adventure of not knowing anything without asking questions and figuring things out.

bitingmidge said...

@Vallypee - remind me again, a dinosaur who speaks how many languages? You are a WALKING App! ;-)

Blogger Template Created by pipdig