Jessica-Marie and Martin 'Beejay' Wells

Jessica-Marie and Martin 'Beejay' Wells
be together, play together, learn together

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Life's like that.

A lady friend I hadn't seen for some time bumped into me yesterday.
        "Hello," she said, "how are you keeping?"
        "Not so bad thanks," I informed her, going on to tell her of my recent stays in hospital and newly acquired status as an invalid. (two severe heart attacks, peritonitis and appendectomy leaves me a 66.6% invalid according to Social Services, which means 33.3% of me is fully fit and available for work, though which 33.3% I'm not entirely sure)
        "So what are you doing with yourself now you can't work any more," she asked.
        "I'm writing a book," I told her.
        "Oh, that's a novel idea," she replied.
Wasn't much I could say to that really.


Some people (mainly grumpy, drunk, wrinkly old gits) complain when I'm having a conversation with a friend in English.
         "Je bent hier lang genoeg Nederlands te praten," one miserable old git shouted at me the other day in the café. He was right. I have been here long enough to speak Dutch. (There is no such language as Flemish. It's just a dialect of Dutch) Seventeen years I've been in this miserable dump. But I can and do speak Dutch when I need to. It just happens that some Belgians enjoy speaking English. Why shouldn't I oblige them?
         So, in Dutch, I asked him quite politely if I'd been speaking to him.
         "Nee," he replied.
         "Believe me," I told him, continuing in Dutch, "if I have something to say to you, it will be in Dutch, even though more people in Belgium speak French (Walonia is a lot bigger than the rest of Belgium) and let's not forget the little corner that only speak in German. So, when you think about it, you have three national languages. Why should I pick your favourite? Do you speak French or German?"
         "Then you have no right to complain about what language I and my friends choose to hold our conversations in."
         He went a little quiet then so I asked him, somewhat sarcastically, "are you a friend of mine?"
         "Nee," he replied.
        By this time, everybody in the place, grinning like morons,  was listening in to the conversation. You could have heard a pin drop.
         That's when I let him have it. Both barrels. Very loud. In English.
         "Then, you fuckin' dipstick, keep your fuckin' nose out of my fuckin' conversations."


  1. Don't mind the individual who sits alone the line, just walk with the flood. Also, there isn't a dish that feeds every individual with the same taste of pleasure. I live also in Zoutleeuw and it is good here ... but there are also some people that don't agree with my sense of freely speaking, my ways of doing. I just let everybody in his individual being, without knocking down his or her individual freedom of speech in whatever language. I read: "It just happens that some Belgians enjoy speaking English." I speak English with you, because I speak fluent Dutch, English, German and a little Spanish. When I adapt to you, I just grab every situation in which I can learn and extend my personal knowledge on language level. And the person who was offended by your English speaking, is mostly a person that that is afraid of something he doesn’t understand, typical human behavor. Greetings, Erik.

  2. Hi Eric. You got that right but you also know that if I need to I can converse in Dutch and French.