Thursday, 30 July 2009

yanks in St Jean de Luz

I felt I attained local status for the first time today in St Jean de Luz. There is an external perception that the Basque's are rude and not to be trusted, I suspect this jaundiced lie was started by the anti-Basque governments of the mid C20. Anyway, sometimes it is good to give people what they expect.

As I walked down Rue Gambetta I heard a very loud and obnoxious American couple. They were saying things like "gee, it's nice here, but it would be nicer if it was bigger." You get the gist. As I walked towards them I could see they were intending to stop me. "Do you know where the market is?" they asked in their best English. No 'excuse me', 'hello' or slightest attempt to speak French. Riled, I shrugged my shoulders, "je ne comprends pas" and looked blankly into their podgy round faces. "D-o Y-o-u K-n-o-w W-h-e-r-e T-h-e M-a-r-k-e-t I-s?" they repeated more loudly. I was utterly embarrassed to be an English speaker. I continued with my glazed look, shrugged my shoulders again, made a slight noise through puckered lips and walked on.

It felt fabulous. Not simply for having resisted ignorance but also basking in a warm glow of satisfaction. By not letting the oversized Americans know where the market was I saved them from further calorific content. They should thank me.

Basque of the day:- fat :: gantz