Baffling Life

A Polish woman was trying to chat to my wife yesterday.

“You like Poland?”

“I have never been, is it nice?”

“Ah yes, you go sometime!”

“Yes, maybe I’ll go one day…”

“Oh, no, but you must go for more than one day, maybe a week or two week.”


You can also get language barriers in English. One time I was in B&Q looking at their kitchen displays.

“Can I help you, sir?” The salesman asked.

“I’m looking to put a small kitchen into a flat for renting out”

“Well, we do the best deals in flat-pack, but we don’t install – we just supply. Having said that, off the records and only between you and me and the gatepost, I know a good joiner who will fit the kitchen for you,” he winked.

“Is he reasonable?”

“Aye, and he does a crackin’ job.”

At this point, I tried to open a drawer, it was stiff and drew out in jerks. He said,

“Don’t worry about that, O’Connell will fix that easy as pie.”

We continued to chat and look round the display units. I opened a wall unit and the door fell off the hinges.

“I know, I know, O’Connell will be able to fix this easy as pie.” I grinned.

“Er – who?” he seemed puzzled.


“Who’s that?”

“Isn’t that the name of your joiner?” I was confused.

“Nope, it’s John Wilson – where’d you get O’Connell from?”

“But you said O’Connell would be able to fix the drawer easy as pie…”

“Aha! I said A CANDLE!”

This is the trouble with Glaswegian – they pronounce candle as connell. Who knew.


I had a lodger once, who told me a story I didn’t understand for most of the time he was telling it. It seems he was looking to buy a tap and had tried quite a few shops.

In the USA taps are known as faucets, and this is what I had in mind throughout the telling of this story. However, it eventually became clear that I had the wrong end of the stick; he was talking in Glaswegian about a Football Strip – a “top” – or (as he pronounced it) a “tap”.


Another infamous tale concerns an angry US American tourist who was staying at an hotel. Every morning he would come to breakfast and bully the Scottish waiter. He would shout demands and order the man about.

It’s quite legendary that one morning he demanded a pitcher of water, and the disgruntled waiter took down a framed oil painting of Loch Lomond from the wall and delivered it to his table,

“There’s your picture of water,” he said before hanging up his apron and resigning.


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