Conclusions

Trip Start Aug 09, 2007
1
45
Trip End Jan 20, 2008


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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

All great works merit a suitable ending. A drawing to together of our thoughts. Summarising. Making conjectures. Reading books, repeating quotations, drawing conclusions on the wall. With this in mind, and in an effort to illustrate better what we have learnt, I leave you with the following two tales.
1) Cautionary:
We were at the campsite in Perito Moreno. Drinking beer. Eating pizza. Apart from the vegetarians, who had made some sort of pasta. Why? I don't know. They don't eat meat. Heather told her tale. She had been in Chile. Bought a small amount of cannabis. Had some left. Very little. But, despite its low cost and relative ease of purchase, she didn't want to waste it. So she hid it in a sock, in her dirty laundry, and crossed the border to Argentina. Possibly foolish. A dog came on her bus at the checkpoint. It found nothing. Rubbish dog, clearly. She made it across safely. Lucky young lady.
Sandro spoke next. He had been in Cambodia. Was crossing into Thailand. He, too, had bought some cannabis. He, however, had no intention of smuggling. But he had forgotten about it. It was in his bag, when he crossed the border. He, too, made it over unscathed. Even luckier than Heather - from what I read, Thai prisons are even less welcoming than Patagonian campsites.
Finally, David spoke. He had been in Argentina, and was crossing to Chile. He had apples with him. Apples are very dangerous. Muy peligroso. There are posters saying as much at Chilean customs. His apples were discovered. Checked. Weighed. He had about one apple more than is allowed. He was fined $40 US. His bus was delayed for an hour, whilst he was fined. When he got on board, the driver greeted him by announcing to the rest of his passengers that this was the stupid gringo who'd caused them all to be late.

2) Inspirational:
My Swiss friend Laetitia speaks excellent English. Better than many native speakers I could mention. There is only one slight flaw - her accent. She says things like "barth" instead of "bath" and "pab" instead of "pub". To be blunt, she sounds like a southerner. I have tried to correct this - repeating to her the correct pronounciation, making her practise her vowel sounds. She invaribaly responds by repeating it correctly, then saying, "No. This is wrong. Nobody talks like this". I therefore feel it may be my duty to start teaching English as a foreign language. To enable talented and enthusiastic students not to be misled by incorrect pronounciations, but to Talk Proper Like What I Do. It could be a vocation. My true calling. It seems important.

So. Two tales for you. What do they mean? How can we relate them to our lives? Well? Who do you think I am? Fucking Aesop? Not every story has a moral, you know.
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Comments

puskas
puskas on

Language and accents
Thank you for a very informative and entertaining series of lectures; a good conclusion to the epic - welcome home. I think that you would make an excellent teacher as you possess the necessary qualities of patience and tolerence of those less quick on the uptake than yourself ;-)
i have been told that English (should that be capitalised?) is the only language where the sounds of vowels change with regional accents, all others change the sounds of consonants. Would you care to comment from your experience? Also, do you not think that your 'pure' pronunciation of vowels makes it easier to speak Spanish? (and German)

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