Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The vagabond

Before I start, I must ask the question: what the hell are Australia doing playing Scotland in the cricket? There's not really a lot of point.

Question 2: Why is Our Kylie visiting Bath? And why is she on telly now?

Today I might a genuine French vagabond by the name of Cyriac. He didn't look like one - more like a normal workman, which he was, except that he didn't have anywhere to stay. He asked me how to pronounce 'Singer' (as in the sewing machine) as I was walking up to John's Bikes at lunchtime. I told him that you don't pronounce the 'g'.

We struck up a conversation, and it was better than most I've had with strangers in the street who normally want me to sign up for charity X or switch to a new phone service. It only cost me a pound, which he used to buy a beer at Morrison's. I met him again at almost the same place on the way home from work, and learned that he bought German beer, so obviously he had half a clue about English beer.

Cyriac worked two days a week helping build temporary housing for the Glastonbury festival. He disapproved of this, because it was only a means for other people to make money. It didn't really create anything of lasting significance. He also didn't think much of Bath - the architecture because it's so uniform, the main attraction (baths) because...what's the big deal? I explained to him that the English have a funny thing about baths. He thought it was generally unfriendly and overrated.

He also didn't like France much, because everyone was so arrogant. This was coming from a Frenchman, mind you. He had a more time for the Belgians, although he described the Gentenaars as 'cold'. I've heard Gentenaars say that about themselves, so he may have a point.

That said, Cyriac wasn't bitter at all. He didn't come across as an alcoholic, either. Hell, he couldn't afford to be one here. He was articulate, intelligent and had obviously been to a lot of places in the world. I got some useful advice from him.

Postscript: My Belgian chocolates were well received at work. One box managed to make it round the office (three bike mags + website) twice.

2 comments:

pete said...

My boys didn't really have much of a chance yesterday, did they? :-(
And I don't fancy their chances against the South Africans either! I wonder if the Dutch are any good..?

Jeff Jones said...

The Scots might give the Dutch a run for their money. But not the South Africans.

I saw that both Canada and Kenya had teams. What the?