Cosmopolitan

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beachlion
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Cosmopolitan

Post by beachlion »

Normally I'm not quick on the draw when it is about to have a fitting answer to a unusual question. But today it was different. Maybe the dense traffic had me on edge.

We had an appointment at the dentist for the daughter of my wife. They are rather slow with walking so I was first at the desk, even with holding the door for them. I heard a lot of Spanish around me so the first question from the lady at the desk was not surprisingly:"English? Espagnol?" I don't believe I look Spanish at all, not even in the dark. My reply was:"Nee, Nederlands." (No, Dutch.) I could see the big question mark over her head. Then I told her I could understand some English and a limited amount of Spanish. Then my wife took over the conversation. In the end she had to fill out a stack of forms of which most answers were already in the system. That stack looked quite impressive but half of it was in Spanish so it could be skipped.

Oh yes, the result of the appointment: no cavities and a free toothbrush and paste.
All progress takes place outside the comfort zone - M J Bobak

Dust
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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Dust »

Spanish is, as far as I can tell, the second most common language in the US after English. So that was probably the reason. Plus, those are likely the only two languages they could help you in.

Many people who really are Spanish or Hispanic ethnically, don't look it. But most Americans are mutts anyway. And we tend to suck at identifying ethnic differences beyond Asian, European, African, Hispanic, etc. So I wouldn't think anything of the encounter.

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beachlion
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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by beachlion »

I expected the conversation to start in English because I don't look Hispanic at all. There was one guy in the waiting room with blond hair and was Hispanic. When he walked past me, I saw the roots of his hair were black. And he spoke Spanish to his companion. Of the almost 20 people in the waiting room about 6, the three of us included, were non-Hispanic.

I found it funny to be addressed this way. It could be a routine or default question of the desk lady. It was also funny to see the face of the lady when she heard a language that was none of the above.
All progress takes place outside the comfort zone - M J Bobak

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Kirbstone
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Re: Cosmopolitan

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During my more than 50 years 'behind the mask' in three Europoean countries, in England most non-whites were Indian/Pakistani or Caribbean. In Germany most foreigners were Turkish guest workers or far Eastern, Back here in Ireland the immigrant population are a real mix of Eastern Europeans, Equatorial Africans, South Americans and Orientals, mostly Phillipinos.
My Ukrainian ex-theatre sister speaks Russian & Polish faultlessly, our Phillipino hygienist can rattle away in about three Oriental tongues, while the rest of us require new foreign patients to bring along a family interpreter, frequently a school-age child.

We SELL toothbrushes!

Tom
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beachlion
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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by beachlion »

I had a 15 year relationship with an Italian from Palermo, Sicily. At 8 years old her family moved to Uruquay, where she lived for 25 year. Her mother, who only spoke Italian, was also in our house. My partner spoke Italian with her mother, Spanish with her children and friends (from Uruquay and Argentina) and Dutch with me. In those 15 years I picked up some Spanish and a sliver of Italian. Most of it has been evaporated but some Spanish is not unfamiliar to me when I hear my neighbors talk.

In the summer, when the neighbors and friends gather in the garden, they can be quite loud, even when they talk in a normal way. Early this year they dropped something that made a lot of noise of breaking glass, followed by a lot of yelling. I was in the garden and more or less in a reflex, I asked:"¿Que pasa?" (What happened?) It gave them the impression I had some command of Spanish and subsequently they were much quieter that season.
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Ray
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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Ray »

Kirbstone wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:15 pm
During my more than 50 years 'behind the mask' in three Europoean countries, in England most non-whites were Indian/Pakistani or Caribbean. In Germany most foreigners were Turkish guest workers or far Eastern, Back here in Ireland the immigrant population are a real mix of Eastern Europeans, Equatorial Africans, South Americans and Orientals, mostly Phillipinos.
My Ukrainian ex-theatre sister speaks Russian & Polish faultlessly, our Phillipino hygienist can rattle away in about three Oriental tongues, while the rest of us require new foreign patients to bring along a family interpreter, frequently a school-age child.

We SELL toothbrushes!

Tom
England isn’t a country - you’re referring to the UK - but I agree with your points.

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Sinned
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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Sinned »

Actually, Ray, England IS a country within the United Kingdom and Tom may just have been referring to England only without reference to the other entities within the U.K.. Just the same as Scotland is a country within the United Kingdom. Maybe if/when they devolve then they will just be another country with their own destiny.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.

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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Ray »

Yes, I get that, but when referring to countries in general as part of a list, the U.K. is the correct term. It’s comparing apples with pears - and using England in that list elevates it to full country status - which of course it doesn’t have, what with no Parliament, army, seat at the UN, or foreign embassies to name but a few characteristics.

I’d lob England (or Scotland) in with Texas, Bavaria or Corsica. All well known - but not countries in the sovereign state meaning of the term.

I know the U.K. competes as four nations at sport - but for the life of me, I don’t know why. It just confuses the world.

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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Kirbstone »

Rugby is a prime example of how 'nationhood' has been attached to individual countries in these islands only and under their particular rules they may compete at international level, e.g. the World Cup. Other competing teams are representing nation states, e.g. Samoa, Fiji, Argentina &c.

In other sports however, with the exception of the Commonwealth Games, UK international teams or crews are 'Great Britain', e.g. when competing at World Championship or Olympic level.

Tom
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Sinned
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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Sinned »

Bearing in mind that Tom has family in Southern England it's more likely that he was referring to England the country rather than England the U.K. Anyway England is still a country. So in a list it would still be valid to include England as a member of the list. Definition "A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, a physical territory with a government, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics." So in these terms England IS STILL A COUNTRY. That the United Kingdom is also classed as a country sort of clouds the issue as the U.K. acts as a representative of the four entities. Northern Ireland is probably a province because it has no history as a separate country but has a Parliament of sorts even though it is currently suspended. The countries of England, Scotland and Wales are known as Great Britain thus there is Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I know that it confuses the issue when there are separate entries in sport for the four entities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and sometimes for Great Britain and sometimes the United Kingdom. Let's keep things right otherwise we'll confuse our American friends.

If Scotland were to devolve they would still be a country as they are now and as they were before the Act of Union on the 1st May 1707. Incidentally, if Scotland were to devolve and re-enter Europe will there be another argument discussion about the England/Scotland border? The Northern Ireland one is causing enough issues.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.

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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Ray »

I don’t think we’re going to agree on this one.

I’m not going to argue.

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Kirbstone
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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Kirbstone »

Denis,
More than half of our family 'Dynasty. are UK resident, located in England. We meet and chat regularly and not even once has the subject of Brexit come up in conversation. BoJo himself was no doubt surprised at the size of the majority he ended up with and now he more-or-less can do what he likes. He certainly doesn't need to sweeten the DUP anymore.

However, we over here will inevitably be directly affected by his decisions and it will require statesmanship and diplomacy of the highest order to gently steer events in the next months away from disaster.

Tom
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Re: Cosmopolitan

Post by Sinned »

Tom, agreed on that. We will all be affected one way or another, that's for sure. Let's hope that BoJo has the humility to to accept that many constituencies have just lent them their votes for the moment but could just as easily switch back should he not fulfill their expectations. He is saying that the government should repay that trust but let's see the actions and events to stress that. He has the opportunity to become a great leader and only he can fulfill that.

Ray, what's there to disagree with? I've looked at the various definitions of country, nation and state and they all say that England fulfills the criteria to be a country.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.

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