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This is a question Racist grandparents

It Came From Planet Aylia says: "My husband's mad Auntie Joan accused the man seven doors down of stealing her milk as he was the first black neighbour she had. She doesn't even get her milk delivered." Tell us about casual racism from oldies.

Thanks to Brayn Dedd who suggested this too

(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 11:54)
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Fans will remember that I taught EFL in the depths of Romania in the early 1990s, just after Cheuchesku fell.
Being English was very nearly as good as being American, and so was my credit card to pretty well everything; socially people fell over themselves to invite me to their gatherings and parties.

I quickly learned that some of the Romanians, and some of the Hungarians living in Romania, are rather like a much quieter version of Israel and Palestine - they've been squabbling over the same patch of land forever, and absolutely loathe each other. These battles have been vicious, including one Romanian general who, apparently, on capturing a bunch of Hungarian officers, systematically slit each of their throats, toasting each one with a glass of red wine, claiming to be drinking their blood.

One family I stayed with were Hungarian, and on my first evening there I was invited to cheap old pub to celebrate something. The pub was packed, loud, and as I was led through, pretty girls smiled invitingly at me, people blew smoke and laughed with each other, and I think somewhere people were singing a folk song. I was led to a long wooden table, at which were seated about 20 of the (predominantly male) extended family, and after a brief introduction in Hungarian, was greeted to cheers, a space at the table was made, and I was invited to sit next to the grandfatherly head of the family.

I don't speak any Hungarian, and my host's English was pigeon at the very best. They were a convivial lot, however, and conversation flowed around and over me, and as the wine flowed I was able to somehow converse in that sort of pleasantly vulgar combination of alluding to sexual imagery by indicating body parts and nodding towards the various women in the pub, and shouting seemingly random words (true - at one point I did convey that a girl had a lovely arse by pointing to the top of a table leg).

As the evening wore on predictably the mood became more mellow and quiet, conversations clearly turning to matters of the heart, and of loss. Cigarettes were now being chain smoked, quiet moans escaped, and more wine was poured, increasingly inaccurately.

My host, to lighten the mood, stood, and made a little speech in English. "This (pointing at me) my England friend *hic* (crowd picks up, laughs). He my friend, and my grandson is to his teach. My grandson make teach, and in England beoomes a work! (applause, cheers). When my grandson is work England, I am thanks (cheers), and ... one day ... to a girl for me? (laughter, son goes crimson). So my England friend Vagabond, I am thank! (MASSIVE cheers)"

I smile gratefully, and it's clear that I must return the sentiment.

"Well" I say, "You are all very kind! (cheers, applause, clapping on backs) When I first came here, I was alone, and you have made me feel like a family member! (cheers, welcomes, lewd implications towards the women at the table) So, for making me feel welcome, here is to all of YOU!" I said, raising my glass of red wine.

Silence. As in, the whole pub went silent.


My host stands up "He England" he says smiling, diplomatically, "Is thank." and puts his hand on my shoulder to seat me.

I had, it seems, in essence, just toasted the violent death of their officers.
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 15:00, Reply)

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