Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"Let's go down the caff".

I put some shelves up in my son's room earlier today then went for a bite to eat. Working class people eat in cafes, pronounced caff's, they are similar to diners, and if you are fortunate enough to find a decent one can eat very well and reasonably cheaply for around £4 to £5 per head. So a common statement in our household is "let's go down the caff". It saves on the mess, it's quicker than prepairing food at home and there is a big choice. I, personally would eat there every day but my kids are fussy and feel that once or twice a week is enough.
Work was fairly quiet on Monday night . Only a couple of incidents to report. I picked a guy up at the Hard Rock Cafe in Piccadilly and it took a while to understand him. It turns out he was Canadian but the French variety and he was from Montreal. French must have been his first language because his English was lousy. I speak fluent Spanish and a bit of French so with the two languages intermingled we understood each other and I got him to his hotel. As I was close to Paddington Station I put on the rank there and only waited a couple of minutes befor this American guy came out. Most Americans do this, they only ever say half of what they mean. They'll say the first part of a road or street but not add the "street" or "road" or "place". The same goes for place names or hotels. This guy came out and simply said "the Shaftesbury". That, in any cabbies mind, can only mean the Shaftesbury Hotel in Shaftesbury Avenue, smack bang in the centre of town. So I'm almost there, I've got £12 on the meter and he says "you are taking me to the Shaftesbury Kensington aren't you?" I've never even heard of that hotel so I said "you only said the Shaftesbury, that's where any cab driver would take you". He muttered something under his breath which I took as him showing annoyance towards me and I prepaired for a argument or worse but he simply conceded that it was his mistake and apologised. A swift U turn and £8 later I pulled up outside what must have been a brand new and classy hotel in a shitty street in the Earls Court area of west London and he just sort of threw the £20 note through the partition and stormed off. In theory we are supposed to know everything there is to know about London but in reality we don't and also the only way to find out when something new has opened is to be asked to go there and not know it. Sometimes it takes a couple of trips there for it to sink in and just as your getting used to something it goes and closes. C'est la vie.
Grabbed a bite to eat at Kebab Kid on New Kings Road and did another couple of jobs before calling it a night as I have an appointment at the Eye Hospital later on today.


wil said...

Most Americans do this, they only ever say half of what they mean. They'll say the first part of a road or street but not add the "street" or "road" or "place". The same goes for place names or hotels.

Guilty as charged. :)

We do have a propensity to take verbal "shortcuts."

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