I’ve encountered this odd problem for most of my adult life. Occasionally and quite often, those around me will start speaking to each other in a foreign language. Unfortunately I can only speak English. This predicament is always worse when I’m in a situation that surrounds me with new people, such as a new job, as no-one realises English is my only tongue. At the moment I daren’t go into the canteen as it’s worse than ever. I haven’t a clue what they’re talking about – I’ll just look out the window as these odd phrases whizz over my head.
Its not that they’re rude or anything, they just assume I know this language, I’m a bloke you see. It’s mandatory. I might just go in there at lunch time and get it off my chest, say something like “Lads listen, I thought I’d let you know: I can’t speak football. I’m not actually as quiet as you think I just can’t speak football… so I can’t join in the chit chat, and frankly I’m bored out of my skull listening to you lot every day.”
No I better wait for the inevitable question. “So who do you support John?” “Erm… a wife, a son, a mortgage and a cat… Oh hold on, you’re speaking football aren’t you? ah…gotcha… right… no I don’t support anyone: never had the slightest bit of interest, thanks for asking. Have you seen The Diving Bell and the Butterfly yet?”