Thursday 21 March 2019

Someone Being Observed by Someone Else

by Stephen Bowman

Arabic tea

Here it comes.   Number 42.    Good.   This will be my eleventh lesson.    Think I’m coming on OK.    Teacher’s quite patient anyway.      Sometimes laughs at some of  the English expressions I’ve picked up.      OKEY DOKEY   LOVELY JUBLY   English....................... interesting language.      
British buses!      Quite strange.   Everyone sits still, bolt upright, not saying a word, minding their own business.        Sorry.   Sorry.    That’s all I hear      Oh, sorry.    What’s the matter with them?    Why can’t they relax?    Chat with the people next to them.

The place where I come from they call the Middle East.       Middle East!    How’s it Middle East?    To me it’s home.       Think that’s to do with the British Empire.    From what I’ve read it’s all to do with where you find yourself in relation to Gt. Britain.   Near East.   Middle East.   Far East.      Anything to the west was called “The West.”  

What a strange language really, and they keep saying, Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou,  They give somebody something and say Thankyou. 

There’s someone who has been looking at me for this whole bus trip.   Almost as though I’m under observation.   I know I’m different from him.   My skin’s darker than his.  My clothes are a bit different from his.     Why does he keep looking at me and, more than that, why does he seem to be trying to make out that he’s not looking at me?

I wonder if he’s doing an assignment for some sort of writing class he goes to?       An older type person.  Must be retired.   Thinks I’m some sort of exhibit. 
There it is again, our eyes met and he looked away.  
I’ve been here almost a year now.    It’s a good country, just a bit different from what I’m used to.    Continual reference to the weather.     Cold today.     Nice and sunny today.   Cor, bit hot today!       Hot!     They don’t know what hot is, they wouldn’t last an afternoon in my country.

Oh, no! He’s writing something down now.        I knew it!        A would-be writer.      I’m getting off the bus soon.  We’re nearly there.

Oh, don’t say he’s getting off as well.   No, he’s just getting up to let someone else  off.      Just listen to the words..... Thankyou,     thankyou.     Sorry,    Thankyou.  English!

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