Sunday, October 18, 2009

Speak English!

I get frustrated with some people who talk on mobiles while on public transport. Okay, it’s not what you think. Plenty of people moan about being bothered by people having mobile conversations on buses, trains, even on the Tube, when it runs above ground. I have no problem with it. In fact, in these tough economic times, I think it’s a golden opportunity for free entertainment. Instead of berating these travelling talkers, listen in on their conversations. You get endless hours of free amusement, then. Why waste money on an iPod, when you can hear one half of a juicy conversation, free? The songs on your iPod you’ve heard before anyway. This is fresh, real life, and it’s drama!

I’m sure there are some of you, out there, who’ll claim that earwigging is rude. “Nonsense,” I say. If people are going to talk loudly, in public spaces, they should expect people to listen. It’s fun trying to guess who the person on the other end is, when you only have half the conversation to go on. This can be especially useful, when you’ve completed the easy and intermediate sudokus, and are stuck on the hard one. As you listen in on the conversation, you can try to figure out if it’s to a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, parent, employer, employee, business associate, or just a friend.

However, as no good column would be complete without a moan about something, I do have one complaint. As London is a cosmopolitan city, with people from all sorts of nations and ethnic backgrounds, you do get some spoilsports who insist on talking, on their mobiles, in a foreign language. It is to these people that I say, “Speak English!” Otherwise, how are the rest of us supposed to listen in? I will defend to the death (yours, not mine) your right to talk loudly into your mobile, on the public transport network, as long as you do it in English. Otherwise, you can sod off, back to where you came from. I’m an immigrant too and if I can do it, so can you. Those of us born into families that speak English are notoriously bad at going on to learn other languages. Therefore, it’s up to you lot, who learned English as a second language, to speak it whenever you’re talking on your mobile, in public. Have a nice day.

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