Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Chinese Run Fast

"You have strange accent. Are you from California?" The Chinese student had been puzzled and had obviously wanted to ask me this all day.

I was slightly taken aback. Yes I know that I do not have a North Eastern accent. There is a mixture of public school, newsreader nasal, ex-pat Hong Kong and even a smattering of nasally produced estuary English. But definitely not a hint of Geordie.

This was the Chinese attempt at the usual question I am asked by passengers on my bus. "You're not from round here, are you?" The Chinese way was more direct. No bushes were beaten around.

It had been a long day trip for them. We had left the University Business School at 8am. They had spent several hours in Keswick, eaten huge quantities of fihn 'n chips, walked on the banks of Derwentwater, found bargains in the over-priced discount stores and then gone further down the road to Windermere.

As we discussed the long story of where I came from, out of the bus window we spied some of their fellow students having an unusual experience. Several Chinese figures were beeing hotly pursued by some aggressive swans. Their ice creams were replaced by screams at the rapidly advancing honking swans. The Chinese sprinted at Olympic speed along the lakeside path, vaulted a wooden bench and hid behind some wheelie bins. The swans stopped at the ice cream and lapped it up.

Clever animals swans must be to outsmart the Chinese.

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