The sounds around me as I rolled around my Living Room Floor doing my daily Warm Up exercises.
I’m at an age where it helps to do Warm Up Exercises just to get through the day. As I rolled around my Living Room floor doing them today, the sounds around me contrasted with my vain attempt at fitness and suggested why I may be as unfit as I am. First there was the clunk of the weekends empty beer tins discarded beside where I lay. Next the clink of the glasses stacked in my Living Room Bar. It is a happy life of contrast for sure 🙂
Even in an age of online Courses or Google Translate nothing beats travelling and learning a new language among the people who speak it.
I leaned in towards the girl of my dreams and, in a low, sexy voice, whispered the German phrase my mates had recently taught me. “Mein Luftcushion ist voller igle.” If you speak German, by now I’d imagine you are laughing as hard as that girl that night. My mates said those words were how to ask her out. In fact I had just told her that my hovercraft was full of hedgehogs.
When you’re doing something as important as asking a girl out in her native language, I guess the first advice I can give is not to ask your mates, when you’ve all been drinking, to tell you what to say. Learning German from these guys was tough. The first meal I ordered in German, on their advice, was an ashtray and chips.
The Basics To Speak In Any Language
Soon, I had grasped the principles of what I called ‘Beer Deutsche’ and if you’re a beer drinking fool like me, these principles will get you started in any language…
Learn to say ‘Beer’
Learn to count to 10
Learn to say; small, medium and large
Aspiring linguists can take these principles on to the ‘advanced’ stage.
Learn to say, “Put it on his bill.”
Learn to ask for chicken
Learn the words for ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ before you go for a pee. (Quite important)
Learn By Observing
At times you can learn useful words and phrases from places such as airports or other international transport hubs where things are announced or printed in the local language and in English. This is how I learnt to say, “Mind your step,” and, “This toilet flushes automatically” in Dutch.
Learn Necessary Phrases
It can be helpful to learn phrases associated with your activity when travelling abroad. As a not so fit mountain trekker I can now say, “Slowly, slowly” in Nepali, Kiswahili and Arabic. What I really need to learn before the next time I head to the Himalayas in Spring 2021 is to learn, “Can you show me how to get back to Nepal?” in Mandarin Chinese.
Whilst in a night club in the Philippines some of the local ladies taught me how to say, “I am handsome.” “You are beautiful.” and “I love you.” in Tagalog (National language of the Philippines). This I found to be very helpful.
Learn By Drinking Beer
My most successful conversation with someone who couldn’t speak English came about in the Paulander Tent at the Munich Beer Festival 1996. I arrived unplanned, unannounced and severely hungover off a slow train from Frankfurt and drifted into the beer tent. As I wandered the packed tent looking for a seat I soon came to realize that most people who were sitting on them had booked the seat they were on since somewhere close to birth. Only having heard that the Munich Beerfest was on last night, my chances of getting a seat looked slimmer than I was.
Finally some elderly gentleman indicated for me to sit beside him. He had several generations of family around him at the table and he adopted me as his friend. Very quickly we established that I couldn’t speak much German and he couldn’t speak much English. I bought him a beer, we clinked steins and decided to muddle through. Though very awkward at first, after 3 litres of strong German Beer we were involved in a heavy conversation about world football and the relative merits of Glasgow Celtic and Bayern Munchen. Thing is, to this day, I couldn’t tell you which language we were talking in but it was a great night.
Teach Your Own Language
Of course the fun in learning language and culture is in the exchange of the same. If you’re learning a language, return the favour in kind. As a Scottish person, there are many traits of my dialect of the English Language that can be fun to share with others. For example, I taught the ladies in the Philippines the special way in which a Scottish person greets his friend in England. So, to all my English friends out there, if you find yourself in the Pampanga Region of Luzon Island in the Philippines and a young lady greets you with, “Away ya wee jobbie!” tell them ‘Bob’ says hi.
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It was a moment of every Dad’s nightmares. Sean McBride, blogger extraordinaire and international adventurer, received a chat on Social Media from his daughter. It looked like she was wearing some form of space suit and was in the process of being transported into an alien spacecraft.
Following a frantic call to Emergency Services, Julia McBride’s location was urgently traced via the signal from her Mobile Phone and police rushed to the scene. Julia was quickly located safe and well in a Glasgow Hairdressers. No aliens or spacecraft were anywhere to be seen.
After an urgent investigation of the scene the strange ‘light like’ objects from the picture were found to be… lights. Investigators could not find any trace of teleportation or other transport qualities about them. The popular theory is that they are in place just to light the area up.
Julia had taken and posted the horror picture whilst in the process of having her hair dyed. Following the incident, Julia is now seeking minimum association or contact with her Dad.
“I’m just glad she’s safe.” Sean said once Julia had been found. “Oh… and her hair looks amazing…”
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A Morbid idea I came across in Youtube that I ended up having fun with
Surfing the internet with my morning coffee and a donut. I headed to Youtube to see if my latest video; viewed by me, a spammer, a strange stalker and a relative, had suddenly trended across the world. It hadn’t. But there in my feed was a video entitled, ‘The Last Thought You’ll Ever Have.’
“That’s a bit morbid,” I thought. Good thing is I then thought a few things after that. One thing was not to check out the video. I don’t really fancy Youtube telling me the last thought I’m ever going to have. Just imagine thinking anything Social Media suggests!
There’s also the fear that, once you know what the thought is, you’d spend the rest of your life desperately trying not to think it. You’d end up in a meltdown, a sobbing heap screaming, “Lalalalalalala” and your bewildered friend saying, “I only said biscuit?!”
Anyway, then I started thinking, I wonder what the last thought I could conceivably have could be. I wrote a list…
Should I tell her I preferred her hair longer?
Does that thing bite?
Do they drive on the right in this country?
Aw crap! I keep forgetting that facemask!
I guess I’ll just push the button and see what happens.
I’ll cut the blue wire.
They look like a nice crowd. I’ll ask them.
What’s the worst that could happen?
I’ll just have the one.
Would you look at the size of that!
Go on… you know you’ve thought something I didn’t. Drop it in the comments and, while you’re at it, share and subscribe to this page.
Below are 2 crazy stories which apparently happened to me. One of them is true. Guess which one in the comments.
I was soon running full pelt down the hill, out of control and screaming with my willie in my hand still peeing.
A few years ago in the dead of winter on a freezing night I had been drinking down town and was walking home steaming drunk. As it was dark I decided to face into a hedge to have a quick pee. Hearing a car heading along the road but, having already started, I shuffled forward a bit to get deeper into the hedge and hide. As I found out to my horror, the hedge was quite thin and on the top of a hill.
I was soon running full pelt down the hill, out of control and screaming with my willie in my hand still peeing. There was a pond which had frozen over at the bottom and a couple sitting at the edge of it on a bench. Unable to do anything else, I sprinted past them headlong straight into the pond.
Not sure when the pee stopped but I found myself sitting freezing up to my waist in the shallow, frozen water. The guy from the couple asked if I was alright. “Yep.” I replied trying to look as sober and casual as I could. They headed off into the darkness and I picked myself up and tucked myself in. Probably wetting myself would have been warmer and more comfortable.
Hide and Seek
I stood looking on with the waves breaking round me. Wide eyed and panting.
As I’m sure everyone did, there was a whole crowd of us used to play hide and seek on a caravan site on holiday. I had found the ultimate hiding spot, behind a small tree, beside one of the caravans from which no one could see me but I could see the den. I was soon on a winning run. I was gleefully hiding there watching the den fill up with people getting caught and a small crowd trying to figure out where I was. I heard a low growl at my shoulder and looked behind me. Turns out that my tree had been discovered by a dog the size of a horse and, judging by his reaction, it was a part of his territory.
They say you shouldn’t run from a dog. But I was up and off like a gazelle screaming like a banshee and sprinting for the den with the horse-dog in hot pursuit. I don’t know what protection I thought the small rock which identified the den would offer. Maybe if I got there before the dog it would understand and give up the chase.
Whatever protection I thought that den might provide was not shared by our gang of kids waiting at it. There had been a brief moment of elation when everyone realized where I had been hiding followed by sheer terror when they saw the monster dog, hot on my tail.
Screaming kids scattered in every direction to hide from the beast and I sprinted past the den onto the beach and into the sea. The dog paused seemingly confused when it saw small people running in every direction. In a bizarre twist no one could have predicted our game had changed dramatically. We were now all hiding for our lives from a horse sized dog who seemed to be ‘het’.
The dog slunk slowly back to the caravan past my ‘hiding tree’ and little heads began to peer round corners followed by kids nervously heading back to the den. I stood looking on with the waves breaking round me. Wide eyed and panting.