There had always been a running battle in our family as to whose English is the best and while Mum is Professorial and Dad quotes like a poet, my brother definitely takes the medal for writing.. His dry wit is wonderful and I've decided in true MBA style to plaigairise it.. My brother took a trip to London last week and walked through some lovely areas of Scotland and here are some fabulous parts of his regular emails..
On his arrival in London:
To not put too fine a point on it, nobody speaks English. Not even the English.
Immigration officer (Nice Punjabi Aunty) : Kahan se aa rahe ho aap?
Me (stunned) : Er Ah, New York se aa raha hoon
Her : Wahan kaam karte ho?
Me (weakly) : Haan..
Her : God Bless puttar, have fun.
Me (tottering away) : Thank you
On getting around London:
Somebody once told me, the best way to visit a place is to buy an all day bus pass and just sit and keep going, irrespective of where the bus takes you. I must say, I concur heartily. The same I guess must go for walking. There is a term called "Happily lost", which is what applies to most of the time for me in London. I have no clue as to where I am! And the bloody weather is so finicky, at most times, I cannot figure outwhere North is by looking at the sun.
Seeing the sights:
We managed to see "taming of the shrew" in the open air theatre at regent's park and the setting was idyllic. from time to time, an airliner would pass by overhead and drown out the sound, the actors would patiently wait and then resume.
His travails in Scotland:
Went for a rather curious pub crawl. Its called the literary pub crawl. Two actors quote poetry (both Scottish and English) and take us throughthe various pubs that were frequented by literary greats. One also gotto see the famous thriftiness of the Scots. One guy took a swig at a dram of whiskey and offered to his friend saying "Here, show some respect for Sir Walter Scott", The other guy took a swig and as he was about to take another swig, his friend grabbed the bottle stating "Now,that's enough respect!".
Another one went on the lines of... A Scottish prayer - "Lord, we do not ask ye to give us wealth -- but show us where it is instead!"
As I went over the crest of the "Devil's staircase", I was a wreck, both literally and mentally. For this, I blame the Scots, wholeheartedly. Everytime i used to stop to ask a person "Are we there yet?" and he/she would smile and say "Oh yes, just a couple of minutes away!". The minutes turned into hours, my feet became blister ridden and in the end, I must have cursed the Scots to hell and back..... The views, were intense. Having hiked 34 miles in two days, I was weary, worn and sick of glens, loches and old women who could walk faster than me! However, revenge is sweet they say, revenge is a dish best eaten cold they say. While cresting downhill, I came upon this couple who were clearly exhausted while climbing uphill. "How much further", the man asked. Putting on my best Scottish accent and a wide grin I replied "Oh just a couple of minutes away!".