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

Friday, July 27, 2007

pies (pea-ess, Polish for dog, not pies as in steak and kidney)

The dogs pulled me gently along, stopping every few paces to get a good sniff of some patch of grass. As the old lady approached, I had a hunch she would say something. Most old Polish ladies have something to say, and are not afraid to start long conversations with complete strangers.

'Oh look,' she started, as we drew level, 'aren't those lovely dogs.' I smiled briefly, not really knowing the appropriate answer. 'What kind are they?'

'Um, well,' I said, wondering. 'Some kind of collie. They're not actually mine,' I confessed. 'I'm just looking after them.'

'I don't think I've seen that kind before' she said.

'Well, they're owned by an American family, so maybe there aren't many in Poland.'

'American?' the lady's eyes widened and she took a step back from the dogs, who were waiting patiently while I tried to get away from this chit chat. 'But Pani is Polish?' she asked me, hopefully.

'Oh no,' I said cheerfully, 'I'm English.'

Whether it was surprise, confusion or horror she was feeling, the lady covered her emotions well, giving me a thin smile and half waving us goodbye.

It wasn't long before we neared a bus stop, a little crowd waiting near the shelter. I spied the most likely chatterer from way off. She followed us with her eyes as we approached, smiling indulgently at the dogs.

'Excuse me,' she said. 'Are those sczyminitultoffs?' Ok, she didn't say that, but she said some breed name that came in one ear and out the other.

'I'm afraid I'm not sure' I said. 'I'm just looking after them for a friend.'

'Well they look like it,' she continued 'collies, but the small kind.'

'Yes, more than likely,' I agreed, 'that's probably what they are.'

Who knew dog-walking involved so much Polish conversation practice? I need to find a dog breed book before our next outing though.

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