Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Monday, September 12, 2005


I was on the bus the other day and some French tourists were studying the bus route trying to find out which bus stop was closest to Łazienki park. Before I could offer to help them, a lady stepped forward and told them in English that it was the next stop. They thanked her and got off the bus. As soon as the bus started up again, the lady who had helped them started talking very loudly, to anyone who would listen. She was an interesting looking lady, old-ish, with mismatched clothing, obvious makeup and a hat. She didn't seem crazy but she seemed annoyed, and as if she was making statements about the people who had just left the bus, or more probably, their kind... foreigners. It annoyed me that I couldn't understand what she was ranting about, especially as it obviously provoked mixed reactions from those who were subjected to it. Another old lady in a hat frantically nodded her head; a younger woman sitting next to the ranter made a quiet comment and moved to the opposite end of the bus; an old man said something obviously contrary to what she was saying and before he'd finished she started talking over him and waving him away with her hand. The lady continued throughout my bus journey and although I could make out the odd word, she was talking fast and I couldn't grasp her message. It struck me as odd that she'd helped the tourists, knew another language, but was coming out with presumably bigoted views. Of course I could be entirely wrong, maybe she was talking about something completley different. It frustrates me to be an outsider in this way.
I hope that in a few more months I'll know enough Polish to understand anyone ranting on a bus, and the next step will be to learn enough to answer them.

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