Monday, December 26, 2005

Feliz Navidad!

I was going to wish Gode Yule, but I'm not exactly sure how it's spelt (rule of thumb for Swedish, when in doubt, take an english or german word that means roughly what you want and pronounce it like the Swedish Chef.

Seriously, he might be a muppet (literally, not just in the sense I use it to mean slightly stupid person) but that man has done wonders for my pronounciation. It's definately not right, but it's better than saying it English-style, at least I'm trying.

Maybe this is why I didn't get promoted, advising people that "hurdy hurdy børk! børk! børk!" is a good way to practise Swedish probably isn't part of the Anglo-Swedish edition "How to win friends and influence people".

And to think I wanted to be a diplomat. Regular readers of this blog (so that would be Mum and Dad since no one else has the patience to wait for me to feel like writing) will remember previous incidents of my cultural sensitivity.

On that note, Australians really are special. We (a multi-cultural group of guys from work) met one at a party on Friday - the host had pointed her at me because I was from New Zealand.

"Oi beet oi ceen giss weere youse is from" (that's enough dialectising from me, for any readers unfamiliar with Straylan, you'll just have to imagine a female version of the crocodile hunter, only a lot more nasal.

She "guessed" where I was from. This is not a great achievement at the best of times, but when people have been calling me Kiwi (since I'm one of perhaps three New Zealanders on the island) from the minute I walked in, it's a gimmie.

Sinder - an Indian-British guy who sounds straight Birmingham and looks straight New Dehli (or whatever the sub-continent's equivalent of Birmingham is). According to miss Geography, he's definately French (to be fair, he does have a gallic nose).

Karl - was probably born within a stone's throw (at least by catapult) of the house we were in is definately Polish.

Cyrus - he's portugese-spanish but apparantly looks hungarian. After a strong hint she guessed portugal. He hinted "and the country next to it" "ummm, Italy". Now, I know that Australian high schools haven't been the same since Susan Kennedy had her accident (neighbours joke).

Anyway, you get the idea.

While I'm busy offending people, recently I have learned that you can describe 90% of Maltese women with the following adjectives - short, black hair, loves shopping, hot-tempered, loves shopping, lots of cousins, probably has a name from the bible (unless their family ran out).

The families here make my mother's network of relatives seem very Protestant. One guy in the office literally had 50 something first cousins (he thinks), another is well into three figures if you include second cousins.

Actually, if you replace one or two of the "loves shopping" with "loves cars" you have a pretty good description of 90% of maltese men as well although the name thing is less accurate since a lot seem to be called Mario (or at least the ones called Mario are always shouting at people).

Well, that's my daily dose of political incorrectness out the way.

Hope ya'll had a good Christmas (if you're in my family, presents are on their way, I promise - although my sister and one brother have already recieved, so I'm running at 33% on time delivery, which isn't bad by my standards).

Quite funny Rich. Too bad we lost you to Malta, the Calgary Kangaroos need some more people to write for their site.
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