Translator required !

Ish bosh bish . Bosh balla bectallawah bangdankint !

Well , that’s what it sounded like to me the other day when a guy walked in to the shop and came up to me at the counter and just started blabbering on in his native tongue as if it were the most natural thing in the world .

A faded coca-cola red denim jacket , a moustache and a pair of sellotaped glasses was the first hint that he wasn’t from these parts . The second was the two minute foreign narrative he projected towards me as if it were the most natural thing in the world . The third , when he stopped and looked at me in anticipation of an answer made me think of a naked camera crew hidden somewhere nearby , but he didn’t quite fit the bill of a Jake Stevens .

I’m rarely stumped by a customer but this guy had me . There was no attempt at sign language and my efforts at procuring some hint of a description were met stonley with more matter of fact dishquashmashdilla . Sometimes the mention of something resembling butyl can mean a tyre or tube but there was nothing even remotley recognisable . I pointed at tyres and tubes , chains , locks and mudguards , cables and saddles . I even tried pointing at a pair of cycling clips but all to no avail . I was met with a stoney look of are you stupid or what-edness .

I handed him a pen and paper in the futile hope that some written form of his language may be recognisable . But once again there was not a trace of anything remotley within my vocabulary .

He was so assured and making so little effort to physically describe what it was that he was looking for that for a brief instant I wondered if I had been transported overnight to some foreign parts and it was I who was speaking the funny language in a foreign country .

I was just about to give up when I pointed at a pair of long fingered gloves and received a curt nod and brief pashwashkifta of , of course thats what I asked for .

I pointed at the price tag which read €25 and the customer took out a very worn looking leather purse and handed me 25 CENTS . I shook my head and reached for the calculator and typed in 25 minus .25 and equals 24.75 .  He shook his head , replied ‘too spensif ‘, and walked away .

I was left standing there with my mouth open catching flies- speechless . The rest of the day was spent casually searching the shop for a hidden camera . I still haven’t found it !

Barry

www.worldwidecycles.com

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