On my recent trip to Salzburg when I sorted out the business licence, I had a couple of hours to kill before my bus went home- really I could have done all on the phone. Anyway, I was waiting in Mirabell eplatz and a beggar came up to me. I~d noticed that they have been removed from the tourist high spots but they were just in all the further bits, and when one had approached me, I said I don’t speak German, in English, that fixed them!
Then a woman with a good baby buggy approached me as I sat, so I used the same tactic and she went off in disgust. Then the lady at the seat started chatting to me, ‘They’re all over the place, can’t get away from them, and my mother predicted this after the war, we would be inundated. I had to say that I was myself a foreigner, but as I was talking to her in German, it was ok…. I told her about the Lungau and we discussed the weather until her bus came.
It seemed in those short minutes our lives had touched in a small spot of kinship. Funy because I often think back to random chats we have with people when we’re in the UK, and feel pleased that I can do so with freedom. I realised at last the language isn’t mattering so much any more. Am I finally settling?