an idiot in london

January 2002

Friday, 11th January 2002.

I had to call a sheila in Germany for work today. A specific sheila that is, not just any old fraulein. The phone rang, and she answered in German, strangely enough. I was about to commence a conversation in German when I realised that within about one sentence I would have exceeded my German language skills. So I pulled out the old classic "Sprechen Sie Englisch?"

At precisely that moment, Con (Australian bloke who sits next to me at work) cracked up. I knew he was laughing at me, mostly because he was pointing at me and laughing at the same time. This was enough to make me feel a little self-concious, and I went beetroot and started sweating in a most unattractive manner. (Can you sweat in an attractive manner? Er, well, actually let's not investigate that line of thought too thoroughly.)

Having finished my call, I started to explain the whole "Sprechen Sie Englisch" thing to Con. He was still laughing, and I couldn't see why.

Eventually he came clean.

"Is that what you said?" he laughed, "I thought you said 'Speaka de english'!"