26 May 2013

commuting chronicles [episode 1: lost in translation]

On a journey this week a Frenchman was rather anxious as to where he should be getting off the train. He asked a fellow passenger in broken English enough to form the question 'Does this train go to Wigan?' Having understood the positive answer he settled happily back in his seat.

Shortly after the train guard arrived to check our tickets and all of a sudden the Frenchman started saying what sounded like 'orally' over and over to the guard. The more he said it, the more the guard was scratching his head. The Frenchman rummaged in his bag for some email printouts which he showed the guard and eventually the French franc and the Mancunian penny dropped.

Turns out the Frenchman was now confused as to whether he should get off the train at Wigan or Leigh (Or-a-lly.) There is no train station at Leigh, so Wigan the first call was right after all!

It made me chuckle inwardly pretty much all the way home... 



Chatting the following week with a work colleague who ended up helping with interpretation and getting the guy into a taxi at the right place it turns out that
  • the Frenchman was actually German (language is not my strong point)
  • German-man was trying to get to Orrell (not Wigan or Leigh) 
But it was good to chat with another work colleague who I had not met before and we had even more of a chuckle..

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