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This is a question Travel

I've had guns pointed at me in many different countries, sometimes even by our own side. I've also sat on my own on a beach on a desert island, which was nice because nobody was trying to shoot me. Tell us your tales of foreign travel.

Thanks to SnowytheRabbit for the suggestion

(, Thu 18 Apr 2013, 17:43)
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At the end of a month-long business trip to Ukraine.....
...The three of us (two company directors and me) were celebrating our successes in a small restaurant in the bustling metropolis* of Melitopol, together with our translator, Oleg. We'd hired him as he spoke fluent English, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Russian and German. he was a dignified elderly gentleman who seemed to command respect and even deference in every native we met.
As the vodka flowed and many toasts were made, we got into the yarn-spinning and self-congratulation that always happens in the company of good friends. Oleg spoke up.
'I'd like to do my party piece'. We sat and waited politely for a song or one of those interminable Russian poems, but Oleg had different plans. Turning to my boss he said 'Donald, you are lowland Scots, you went to a public school where they tried to change your accent, you've lived for a long time in London but your basic accent comes through'. We clapped - he'd got it exactly right! Turning to the technical director he said 'Paul, you are a north London boy born and bred, I'd say Enfield?'. we were stunned, once again he was spot-on! He faced me. '***, you are a Midlander, not as far south as Northampton, not as far east as Leicester, definitely not a brummie - I'd say you're from Coventry - but at least one of your parents was Welsh'.
We were shocked - he was, once again, spookily correct!
We laughed and clapped and asked him how the hell he could have worked it out? I mean, we'd only seen him in work time, we'd not engaged in idle chit-chat so how could he know.
'It was once my business to know, sort of my job' He explained.
We got really sober, really quickly when he went on 'I was a colonel in the KGB, I taught accents to our operatives in the sixties and seventies'.
No wonder the locals were so deferential.

TL;DR - we hired an ex-spy as a translator.

*It's a run-down shithole BTW.
(, Thu 18 Apr 2013, 22:46, 5 replies)
Like it.
(, Thu 18 Apr 2013, 23:06, closed)
They have to make it pay and they only have the skills they have to work with.
Bit like a chunky table dancer who can nonetheless wrap her own ankles around her chin.
(, Fri 19 Apr 2013, 0:45, closed)
This to win.

(, Fri 19 Apr 2013, 10:09, closed)
I've just had a thought about this...
I hope he didn't just research all your backgrounds through his contacts in the KGB.
(, Wed 24 Apr 2013, 12:13, closed)
I doubt it
Can't think why we would be on any of the KGB's lists. However, you've now made me paranoid.
(, Wed 24 Apr 2013, 18:54, closed)

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