Friday, September 29, 2006

Poles Apart

I've spent the balance of the week back at the restaurant with the cute Polish girl and German Girl. It turns out there are four Poles working there; two males and two females. Besides the cute, blond girl and her husband, there is a 20 year old guy, who's name I couldn't quite get a definitive pronunciation of. Of the four Poles, he's the only one who wears glasses. The fourth is a beautiful young woman, short, with brown hair and piercing blue eyes.
The brown haired gal hardly spoke to me all week. Looking at her, I had originally thought she was from Spain. I tried smiling at her a few times and she gave me bit of a smile back. On Thursday, she finally overturned my suspicion that she couldn't talk, by saying, "hello." I was working with the original, cute, blond, but married Polish gal, the guy with the glasses, and German girl. Both blondie and glasses guy were friendly and easy going. On Tuesday, glasses guy asked me how I traveled to work. When I informed him that I drove, he inquired as to what kind of car I drove. When I told him I drove a BMW 7 Series, he reacted with disbelief. Why would I lie about something like that? His question seemed to be motivated by a desire that I give him a ride home, after work. He usually walked. I agreed, as it wasn't particularly out of my way. When we walked to my car, in the parking lot, he seemed shocked that I did, indeed, drive a BMW 7 Series.
Driving him home became a routine. The only day I didn't give him a ride was Wednesday, as I didn't work there that day, being up in London for the TV shoot. Glasses guy and blondie both took my teasing good naturedly. In contrast, German girl never could get her head round my standing joke, which involved me saying, " good," at seemingly random times. Working with the Poles, this week, caused me to think about how, back in America, Poles are the butt of endless jokes, where they are depicted as stupid. When I started traveling to the UK, I discovered that, over here, the exact same jokes are told, except the butt of the joke is the Irish. I wonder which came first? Were the jokes originally about the Irish, but changed to be about the Poles in America, or were they originally about the Poles, but changed to be about the Irish, in Britain? As Britain is an older nation, I have this suspicion that the jokes were originally about the Irish. Could it be because there were so many Irish immigrants to America, they changed the jokes that poked fun of them into being about the Poles?


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