Saturday, March 31, 2007

the other day i remembered a conversation i had with an old English lady that always manages to bring out a laugh from me, so i thought i would share it.

i was walking towards the mosque in town when i stumbled across a shop that seemed to be selling interesting items, i couldn't resist, i guess my shopping gene kicked in at that moment and the cells in my brain called out to my legs to walk and take me to the shop.

i walk in and the radio is playing really loud, some thing from the 80s, i was the only one in the shop apart from an elderly lady sat behind the counter, she looks up at me, smiles and shouts 'HELLO'.

to which i smile back, nod and reply 'hello'.

i start to walk around the shop, picking things up and generally being inquisitive, i felt some one was behind me so i turned around and low and behold the elderly lady is stood directly behind me with a smile on her face, i nearly dropped what i was holding.

she then takes her finger, points at me ands says in that manner that people have when talking to some one whom they think will not understand them 'ARE YOU OK? DO YOU NEED ANY HELP?'

whilst moving her arms every where and breaking up the words to an extant that there was a 5 minute interval per word.

i seriously stood their for a couple of minutes just looking at her, i was in fascination of the way her mouth moved it was like watching something in slow motion.

she thought i hadn't understood so she was about to say the same thing but even louder, when i interrupted her and said:

'I'm alright darling, thanks for asking, if i need your help i will be sure to call you my love'

in a really strong mancunian accent, hee hee hee.

she was surprised and it was so obvious in her facial expression, the mouth open, jaw slack, eyes glazing over, she then shook herself out of the trance, smiled and said 'ok then love, give me a shout if you need me'.

so i went back to looking around the shop at the same time listening to the radio as the news was being broad casted and at that time the hottest topic was the lockerbie trial, the radio was really loud so you couldn't help but listen to what the news presenter was saying.

i noticed that the lady was asking me questions, so i looked towards her and said : sorry i didn't catch what you said'

lady: ' yes luv, i was asking where you are from (she was still talking in slow motion but not as loud'

me:'well i am from a little village called Manchester'

lady: 'theres another place called Manchester'(obviously sarcasm was not her strongest quality)

me: ' no, i mean I'm also from Manchester like yourself'

lady: 'oh i see, but where did you come from'

me: (ok think about this white african, do you really want to say Libya and scare her, obviously she has been listening to the radio, and all this talk of Libya is going to cause a reaction, well dearest readers i decided that i would tell her that i, white african, am from Libya) well i am from Libya....

lady: 'Libya? Libya? Libya? ummmmmmm never heard of it lovey to be honest'

looooooooooooooool

me: '!!!!!!!! you sure, you have never heard of Libya being mentioned ever in this shop (the radio presenter had just said the word Libya)

lady: 'no luv, your the first'

me: (smacks head repeatedly)

lady: 'is it hot in Libya?'

me: 'we have flying polar bears, only joking, it can get really hot, its situated in the north of Africa'

lady: 'oh nice'

me: so have you ever been to north africa?'

lady: 'no love, never been to africa, doubt i ever will'

me: well have you ever travelled outside of Britain?'

lady: ' oh yes love, 10 years ago i went for a lovely holiday in Tunisia'

???????????????????????????

me: 'Tunisia is in the north of Africa'

lady: 'no luv, I'm sure i would have noticed if i was in Africa, i would have been surrounded by black people' (no comment, just shoot me in the foot or i will bang my head in frustration)

me: 'but it is in Africa, really, if i had a map i would show you'(not that it would make a difference)

lady:'no love, it's in Europe I'm quite sure of that'

me: ' well if your sure then that's a different matter, i should visit Tunisia of Europe, sounds like a fun place'

lady: 'oh it was lovely what with all those palm trees'

and that was what i remembered the other day, i swear i laughed so hard that day that tears where running down my cheek by the time i left the shop, unbelievable....

13 comments:

AngloLibyan said...

lol white african, very funny story, only in England!
people usually talk to me like that when I travel to places such as Devon & Cornwal and even when I answer them back in perfect English they still carry on talking slowly to me :o)

a_akak said...

lol, i know what you mean and i always get the reply "so where exactally is Libya?" so my answer is "Do you know where italy is? if they say "yes" then i tell them we are on the other side of the med" and if they answer "No" i tell them its on Mars or pluto

PS: No matter how good your english is and even if you tell them i am from "manchester" or "london" they will ask where u r origanlly from :)

mani said...

muhahahahaha thats amazing lololol yes this episode does bring back so many memories..

does tell u what africa represents a lot of people though.. a culture/stereotype rather than geography..

hilarious lol

Brave Heart said...

believe me it's good thing she doesn't know Libya.

the same conversation happened with me when i joined the gym, the trainer told me she never heard about Libya, and when i told her it's in Africa , she replied this mean u need more time to know how to use gym machines, she thought its my first time to join gym.

other English people ask me is it in east Europe? what kind of answer should i give them.

Curious said...

It is a really funny story, in my case whenever i said Libya people knew where it is, but it is funny howmuch they know about us, you reminded me about two situations t happend to me here in Canada, the first one was my English teacher, a Canadien lady, i don't know why we were talking about hair colour and styling, we were only two women that day in the class and both from Libya, so the other one said that she is searching for a women to cut and colour her hair, at once our teacher was completley shocked, and with a wide open mouth - i was wondering what did surprise her!!!! - she said: do you cut and colour your hair?? I smiled and said for sure why not?? Then in such a confident voice she said: i thought you never take your hijab off even at home. " Now it was me the one with the open mouth!!!!!
And another time, while walking in the shopping mall with another Hijab wearing woman, an older lady stopped us, she wanted to ask us a question, i said for sure, she asked us, is it allowed for a Muslim lady to wear jewelry?????
They really know nothing about us, and thats why the are afraid, if we let them realize that we are exaclty as them, living normal, driving cars, learning and working alot of things will change.

BeSHeSHeNtRa... said...

very funny story lol ..
thnx ..
it reminds me when I go to France , and some one ask me from where am I …
and when I say Libya .. they say (hmmm and where is that ?)
I always like to answer .. it is some were near Honololo ..lol

white african said...

anglo its like they never heard talk, like you said they continue to talk to us in that annoying manner of loud, broken english.

akak when i was younger i swear i studied the world map lik eit was the best seller, so i always get surprised when people ask that question'where exactly is libya?'

i used to say its stuck on egypt, then people would say 'egypt is in africa' loooool.

mani people generally stick toone type of stereo type when it comes to africa, i swear when i first moved to manchester i went to a predominatly white school, when they found out where libya was they used to do zulu type dancing around me constantly, until i gave one of them the good old african punch lol.

brave you poor thing you dont know how to use gym equipment? my god where do these sterotypes come from????

curious at one point people thought i was bald, i use dto always get questions asking 'do you wear the hijab because you have no hair, i use dto always get offended until one day i answered' yes actually i am bald, do you have something against bald people?, to which the person shrugged and said no, whats hair anyway.

your right, ignorence breeds hate, racisim, fear, all these negative aspects, slowly things are changing, things are alot better since the 80s.

beshentra, hi and welcome, honolol lol i may just use that one if you dont mind :)

Lady_WildKat said...

hey my funny thing is wen in Oz, i was on some tourist thing i'd booked my tickets for online, printed them off, got to the place and went to get them stamped. i explained to the lady at the counter what i wanted. she asked me very very slowly and very very loudly that she had a booklet in CHINESE that would explain the tour. i replied i'm English, i'm not chinese, i've just explained everything to you in English and this is your response? and she's like oh i didn't think you could speak English [the previous comments gone over her head] to which my answer was i do speak English, better then you actually and i'm from the Queen's own country obviously. Muppet of a woman....

like just recently in Egypt most think i'm either Egyption or when i've a deep tan Sudanese or when i've been in the Uk to long and am pale im Malaysian... very rarely do ppl guess where i'm from.
altho i went up to Mama one day when she was with a bunch of arab women and addressed her as mama, and brought her a cup of tea. all the women were like this is your daughter, bless mama she said yes she is, my sondes-sugrah,lol we kept the joke going when i said no im not her real daughter but im part Libyan and part Asian i can speak my mother tongue but dont know any arabic, but my baba is from Tripoli....hehehe me and mama couldnt keep it in. just started laughin and told the truth..... they weren't amused much....oh well never mind....
WA comes by her wacky SOH naturally from both her parents!

white african said...

lol @ wild, you libyan wannabe

Lady_WildKat said...

i'm not a libyian wannabe, just a WA family wannabe and as your [mine] 3 brothers and mama and baba have accepted me as one, its all goooood, hehehehehe

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