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Sunday, July 22, 2007

England, my England! [one]

I find that I am so used to the political correctness of my adopted country that I completely forget that it is otherwise elsewhere. [translation = senility advances] I am reminded of what I take for granted, by visiting home. [translation = England for a fortnight]

We’re on a tight schedule [translation = timetable] and visit friends for lunch. Because we are on a tight schedule, our friends also have other friends for lunch at the same time. [translation = three couples plus our children] This is a fortunate turn of events because we all know that our friends’ friends, will be our friends too.

After lunch, I help my friends clear the table. The kitchen is awash with the dirties. I excuse myself for a moment and nip to the loo. [translation = restroom] The window is open as I wash my hands at the sink. [translation = ear wigging is one of my many more reprehensible habits.] I can hear my friends’ friends talking on the patio outside. I idle. I listen. [translation = ear wig]…….

“Do you think his head has anything to do with it?”
“How do you mean?”
“Well it is unusually large, don’t you think? You only have to look at the two of them side by side and it’s obvious. He has a huge head. It's like a medicine ball. I’m sure there was a study out about head size and other abnormalities.”
“Yes, now you come to mention it, I do remember hearing something like that too.”
“They’re quite sweet though.”
“Quiet though.”
“Hmm, don’t have much to say for themselves. Need to learn to speak up for themselves.”
“Do you think that’s the speech delays or are they just shy?”
“Difficult to say.”
“She said they’re ……..getting better or something or other.”
“Hmm, well that’s a mother for you I suppose.”
“If that’s better, then what do you suppose they were like before for goodness sake!”
“One hardly dares imagine.”
“There’s that nice school down the road from where Frederick and Felicity live.”
“What one would that be then?”
“Oh you know. School for the deaf or something, but I think they take all disabled children.”
“Well that would be bound to help. Anything to get them to talk surely. They must be experts at helping speech, don’t you think.”
“Well it’s looking a gift horse in the mouth if you ask me.”
“Why does she keep banging on about occupational therapy though?”
“No idea! I mean really! They can walk. It's not as if they're really, properly disabled. They look perfectly normal to me!”
“Just ordinary children really. Mind you, the older one’s a bit…well, er…how can I put it kindly? Er ….floppy.”
“They call that a Klutz in America. What a dreadful word!”
“Oh right! A bit of a butter fingers.”
“Hmm. The other one is so……….busy.”
“Oh yes, right. Busy. Busy as a little bee, buzzing around. The energy of the young.”
“I know.”
“She’s quite a little madam.”
“The daughter.”
“I know! But parents do tend to over compensate when one, ….well two children are, er, abnormal.”
“Can’t blame them really.”
“No………..I suppose not. They’re not doing her any favours though, molly coddling her like that. They’ll pay for it in the end, ultimately. Spare the rod and all that.”
“They’d be so much better off back here, with family support, friends and such.”
“Better to be amongst your own people.”
“Oh yes, definitely. Nothing like home when you’re in trouble.”
“And are they ever in trouble!”
“Do you think they realize?”
“Must do, surely.”

.............. well we surely realize something! [translation = ain't that the truth]

To be fair, these kinds of 'friends' exist in all countries. I prefer these kinds of "friends," that Estee Klar-Wolfond over at the "Autism Acceptance Project," but maybe that's because they're global.

Since bias against one's country is reprehensible, I also speak from the other side, over "here."

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