Sunday, December 25, 2005


Memories from London

Sunday posting in English, as usual / Season’s Greetings

Blog brother Flying Finn left Finland for England to spend the holidays with his family. When he wrote about going to London, it made me take a stroll down memory lane and remember one of the best summers ever, viz, the one I spent in London at the age of 20, right after my first university year. It was compulsory for students of English philology to stay in an English speaking country for a period of 4 months. I’m not sure if London really qualifies, I mean I didn’t meet that many native speakers of English there, but what I AM certain about is that it was paradise for a language student and a polyglot like myself.

I worked as a chambre maid, living in the hotel where I worked. I shared the room with another Finn, Lisa, whom I met on the flight. Some agency or other had arranged the whole thing. So we were chambre maids from 7am - 3pm five days a week, and for the rest of the time we just had fun, meeting people in pubs, nightclubs, parties. We didn’t get much sleep that summer.

I learnt Philippino from my co-workers in the hotel. Most of the other chambre maids were Philippino. Some people who worked there were American or Spanish or Italian. One of the linen porters was Iranian and I learnt Persian from him. Oh yes, and two of them were French, Michel and Jean Louis. My Finnish room mate left England earlier than I did, and I shared a room with a French girl who didn’t speak much English, Evelyn. That did wonders for my French. Later I shared a room with a Spanish girl, Rosa, AND had a Spanish boyfriend, Francisco. Hey, I did also have an English boyfriend, Sean. Oh, and Herbie, who was black, and played in a band. Okay, perhaps I should call them dates, and not boyfriends, because this is starting to sound as if I was swinging like a bathroom door on a florence nightingale. ( = hospital ) Then again, why wouldn’t I? It was one year before I met my husband to be. One has to get it out of one’s system, doesn’t one? I wouldn’t have these memories, if I had just stayed in my room watching TV and listening to Radio 1. Altough I might have learnt more English that way.


I recommend this blog:

Flying Finn’s Blog

Andiamo fino a Betlemme,
come i pastori.
L'importante è muoversi.
E se invece di un Dio glorioso,
ci imbattiamo nella fragilità
di un bambino,
non ci venga il dubbio di aver
sbagliato il percorso.
Il volto spaurito degli oppressi,
la solitudine degli infelici,
l'amarezza di tutti gli
uomini della Terra,
sono il luogo dove Egli continua
a vivere in clandestinità.
A noi il compito di cercarlo.
Mettiamoci in cammino senza paura.

(da don Tonino Bello)

Hyvää Joulua!
Che bello! Mi sono venuti i brividi. Mi metto in cammino senza paura. Ci vediamo a Betlemme.
It must be a Finn trait, my wife is a polyglot too. She drives me nuts correcting my incredible bad grammar. I am origionaly from Spain and she even helps me spell in my own native language, It is very frustrating. But on the bright side, I have a living dictionary.
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