Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Turning Swiss in Scotland

Edinburgh castle from the street where i turned Swiss
I was in Edinburgh last weekend, finding my way from the bus to my hotel. Being somewhat map challenged and also somewhat unable to always tell the difference between my right and left, I found that I could not figure out how to walk 50 m to the right, take the first left after the first light on my right and 200 meters more around the bend  ....oh dear, time to stop and ask for directions.
So here I am on a street called Earl Gray, at the foot of Edinburgh castle and Scottish history, outside a pub called The Red Blazer or some such, stopping a burly Scotsman with a pipe .....and i go "Excusez moi, est la ootel pooaa (The Point Hotel)". Me who, still needs a calculator to convert quatre vingt dix huit into a number, me who still goes to the hair stylist and blithely asks her to please couper mon cheval (horse) instead of my cheveux, me who still begins every conversation in Switzerland with a "Parlez vous Anglais?" ..................

The Scottish gentleman looks at me perplexed. A very identifiably Indian woman, in the heart of Mother England (well ok Scotalnd is not quite England but you get what i mean), attempting to sound French.

"Whats that you said Lassie" goes the poor fellow ...........and i reply with 'pooa, ootel ,poooa ....trying variations in pronunciation trying to sound more French ..........while he says. "lady, you speak English?"

Voila! Reality dawns........I giggle, he looks even more bewildered. I manage to mumble ' Ah, yes, I should speak English, shouldn't I? I mean the Point Hotel, you know, Bread Street' .........I continue to giggle, he continues to look at me with a look of disbelief but points me in the direction I need to go. 

I find my way to the said hotel and as i sit in my room and look out at Edinburgh castle, I realise that Suisse Romandie has really seeped into me. The next time someone in Geneva asks me 'Parlez vous Francais?', I shall proudly say 'Mais, oui. but only in Scotland!' 


  1. Had a genuine unadulterated laugh after reading Bela's blog on being swiss in scotland :)

  2. truly funny dear Bela. keep them coming.


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