Αναρτήθηκε από: firfiris | Μαρτίου 6, 2006

The Nottingham Tales 1

Αυτή την εβδομάδα θα διαβάσετε πραγματικές ιστορίες, με δόση λαφαζανιάς, που έγραψα πέρυσι όταν ήμουν στην Αγγλία σε πρόγραμμα ανταλλαγής φοιτητών. Όλα ξεκίνησαν μια μέρα που είχα να παραδώσω μελέτη και δεν δούλευε ο εκτυπωτής μου. Είχα τόσο εξοργηστεί που έκατσα και έγραψα ένα πέρα για πέρα αληθινό email που έστειλα στους φίλους μου και έκτοτε έγινε συνήθεια (την πρώτη ιστορία κάπου την έχασα και θα την δημοσιεύσω όταν την βρώ).


As you all know, packing can be a tedious chore. Women, Cypriot women in particular, whenever they travel, they have to pack their dowry with them including clothes that allow up to 246346 colour combinations and mysterious electronic devices whose use can only be imagined (I’ve been told they are called hair curlers or something). Therefore, when us guys, in theory being more practical and all, have to pack and go it should be a pretty straightforward and simple procedure. NOT!!!
I wake up late on my last day in England and rush to the post office to buy some carton boxes to pack and ship my books. The Indian teller tells me she cannot accept credit cards (long live the age of information). I sprint back to the COOP and get some paper money before I return to the post office and, oh lucky me, there is an old lady in tweed cloths and a mini shopping trolley and a toy dog at the till.
For some reason she doesn’t move yet she seems to communicate with the woman behind the bench. Is she dead? Is she alive? God knows! I move closer breaking the “personal space barrier” everyone here in England has.
“I got a grandson in Australia, Jonathan his name is, and his fiancée gave birth to a lovely girl. I told him, Jonathan why don’t you marry Sheila? She seems awfully nice, but young people don’t marry nowadays I’m afraid. When I met my Ian (sigh) I was only seventeen and the following year we got married. We were both 18 at the time and then the war broke out, horrible thing the war, I was working at the munitions factory in Raleigh and my Ian was blah blah blah…”

“This isn’t happening” I thought myself. Here I am standing in an empty post office for Christ sakes and the fossil in front of me makes small talk with the teller. I’m beginning to lose my patience. I give an angry look to her Yorkshire Terrier (a fleabag the size of a shoe with a bowtie around its neck) and the dog barks back. The old woman turns back.

“Oh, don’t mind Winston, he is nervous with people he doesn’t know, isn’t it Winston?” She pets the dog and then turns to the clerk. “As I was saying when London was bombed my Ian was in Dunkirk…”
This is a fine state of affairs. The old hag will never finish and I have to pack clothes, books, and then go to he accommodation office and then to the international office to sort my exchange papers.
“Excuse me, madam, would you mind concluding your business as I am in a great hurry?” said I in fake British accent (the pronunciation of the Rs in a hurry gave me in though).
The woman turns back and gives me the look. You know what kind of look I’m talking about. The “Watch your mouth young man before I get pissed” look.
“Back in my time men used to be more courteous” said she, pointing and waving her finger at me. “Back in your time men used to hit women with clubs” was my reply but never dared utter it.
She then turned back again at the clerk and asked for stamps to send a card in Australia.
“Lovely, now we are getting somewhere” I spoke through my teeth. Of course nothing is that bad that cannot turn worse.
Again she is not moving. I peer over the old woman’s shoulder to see her counting pennies!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THE NERVE? THE STUPID OLD COW WAS COUNTING TWO AND A HALF POUNDS IN 1p AND 2p COINS!!!!! In the middle of the
counting the dog barks for attention. She stops to pick him up. “What’s with my squiggly wiggly? Is he lonely? Did Winston miss his mama? He did, didn’t he?” and then turning to the cashier “We look great today with our bowtie don’t we?” and the cashier stops counting to pet the dog as well. FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE YOU OLD RAG!!!! My nostrils dilate as I’m about to exert violence on an octogenarian woman age.
After about 8-10 minutes of talking with Winston the old woman resumes counting only to find out she forgot where sh e was. Rejoice! I saw the Light! I feel like John Cleese in Fawlty Towers being tempted to strangle Prunella Scales. I take out my Sudoku puzzle book while she is counting. After I was a quarter through the puzzle the old woman decides to leave. She turns back to me “patience is a virtue young man” and then left. On her way out I think I saw Winston smile sarcastically at me.
I finally get the carton boxes and run home. Directions and illustrated instructions are for women and Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs, and decide that my manly spatial and mechanic skills are more than sufficient to fold the boxes. The first one comes rather OK. I feel like pounding my chest gorilla-like for my achievement, I certainly have the chest hair of one.
The bigger box is a bit tricky. The top cover wouldn’t fit the rim of the opposite site, obviously a manufacturing error (εξυπνάδες κομμένες). I use some brute force to shut it close and manage to catch my thump in it that starts bleeding. As you may well know, three things I cannot stand at all costs: Cockroaches, Syringes and Blood. My finger is bleeding and I feel like I am going to faint for if it keeps bleeding in a month I will be dead. In fear, I take one step back and step barefoot on a pin that fell off my message-board. I scream like Fred Flintstone and start hopping on one leg while kissing my thump. As I am jumping my trainers get loose and drop while I manage to hit my knee on the corner of my desk and my whole leg goes
numb. Unable to balance I fall down managing to land my arse on the corner of the carton box and from what I recall was extraordinarily painful.
There I am, the strong and proud male lying on the floor, my pants down to my ankles, my back arched and my thump in my mouth. Then to make things more interesting a brief knock on the door and my cleaning lady peers without permission her head in, holding two rolls of toilet paper.
“Want toilet paper love?” Seeing me in this condition she immediately shut the door and shouted from outside “I’ll leave them here!”
Stupid bitch! HOW MUCH DO YOU EXPECT ME TO SHIT ON MY LAST DAY? AND WHY DO YOU KEEP ENTERING UNINVITED????
With Band Aid around my tormented thump and a traumatised pride, I go to the post office with three boxes of books. We put them on the scales and two of them are nearly 5kg each, the third a wee bit more. I go the cashier, who is Indian too, to pay.
“I am sorry my friend, but we cannot deliver boxes heavier than 5kg” he said sounding like Peter Sellers in The Party.
“I will gladly pay the extra” said I.
“No, we cannot deliver something heavier than 5kg. Yours is 5.12kg my friend.”
“Let me get this straight. You cannot deliver a box because it is 120 grams heavier than it should?”
“That is true my friend.”
“I’m fairly sure they can lift it” I replied in protest.
“It is a company policy my friend…”
I was a volcano about to erupt.
Every time he called me “my friend” after what I’ve been through all day, I felt like a bull with the red flag waving in front of him.
I took a knife and opened all boxes and spread 15kgs of books on the floor and tried various combinations of books in each box trying to balance them all. People were waiting in the line but I didn’t give a fiddler’s fart. The scales were mine, all mine, and I would give them whenever I decided. Seeing the line becoming longer my friend Gupta told me that 5.12kg were no problem and he would gladly send them for me.
“Ππεζεβέγκη, τωρά μπορείς!”
“What?”
“Nothing my friend! Cheers!”
I left the post office and lit a cigarette, and boy, did I enjoy it!

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Responses

  1. poustoegglezoi. ena pou ta megalitera kaka toutis tis xoras en oti zoun oi egglezoi dame.. mprrrr

    emena tora estilan mou pou to council oti prepei na tous pliroso to tax parolo pou xeroun oti eimai foititria, giati to atomo pou mou ipograpse tin epistoli en itan arketa ipsilovathmo.

    ego xero oti ekama request sto panepistimio council tax letter je jinoi edokan mou ena kai ego estila to sto dimarxio. ti ftaio an to ipograpse lathos palavi?


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