I'm going to have to rattle this one off before then sun moves round and blinds me, and before I have my first shower in two weeks. Yes, we finally have hot water again.
It is a bloody wonderful, sunny day - a rare Bank Holiday - but rain is forecast for the rest of the weekend. Thomas arrives on Monday from Bexhill on Sea, where he will spend Sunday night.
When he first stayed there, he came with our mutual Hamburg friend, and the land lady took their names for the register. Tobias's last name is Emskotter, and he had to spell it out for her, minus the umlaut which I cannot be bothered to find in special characters. Thomas's last name is Drewes, pronounced Dreevus, but when he wrote it down, she said, "Ah. This is a nice English name which I can pronounce," and pronounced it in the Welsh way.
Tobias has the gift of immediately getting on with strangers, and he can be no longer in a foreign bar than a few minutes before everyone is his best friend. His grasp of English is quite a bit better than Thomas's, and whenever I have gone over to Germany or he has come here and we are parted for a while, there are no end of misunderstandings when it comes to arrangements for meeting up again because of my poor German and his poor English. There are other, more dangerous misunderstandings.
The last time he was here, we were in his two-seater M.G. heading toward a dangerous junction (and the Cotswolds) with him driving from the left-hand side. Being the passenger in a car like this in a country like this means that it is very important that the passenger avoids eye-contact with other drivers, who will think that they are driving the car and that they have been seen, so have no need to slow down or whatever.
I said that we were approaching a bad junction at which he MUST stop, to avoid being smashed-into by a fast car approaching from the right. He got the wrong end of the stick completely, and if it were not for the good reactions of the approaching car, I would have been the first to get killed in the little car, with him behind in a close second.
His poor English sometimes produces some amusing misunderstandings of a less dangerous kind.
One evening, we were sitting in the pub and there was a lull in the conversation, probably caused by my tiredness. He turned to me and said, "I think you are very boring."
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