Monday, February 20, 2006

You Can Even Learn Mandarin on the Internet.

Phew, that 's a relief. As a general rule, I've learnt through trial and error, that it's probably best not to make claims that are basically, as far as you're concerned, wildly unsubstantiated, but there ARE times when it becomes a matter of urgency.

An elegant lady immediately behind me in the supermarket queue asked me why I was buying a mountain of paper. With what at the time seemed like fine foresight, I judged the queue to be moving at a nifty pace, and therefore replied in what should have been some haste: "Oh we home educate and need to buy this sort of stuff directly."

At that exact moment the queue, in complete defiance of one's normal perception of space/time, came to a grinding halt over a price tag controversy and the elegant lady took the opportunity to inform me that Home Education was actually a thoroughly bad idea for quite a number of different and substantial reasons.

It occured to me that the best plan of action would be forget about the pile of paper on the conveyor belt thingie and run off, but I couldn't exactly remember where I'd parked the car, and didn't fancy being chased round the carpark while I looked for it. Just as I'd worked through that particular train of thought, the queue started moving again and my attention had to be entirely directed to the taxing geometrical conundrum of stacking all that paper into a smallish trolley.

At that point, when one is vaguely aware that all hope of arguing for your way of life lies in tatters, the cashier (young and apparently internet friendly) also enquired about the paper issue.

I gave her the same answer because it might have looked even worse for HE if I'd been caught in an outright lie, but rather surprisingly, the honest response turned out to be a winner. She asked "Oh, is that difficult?"

Me: "Oh no...not at all. You know, the internet is marvellous. You can learn anything you want from it. It should eventually be the death of schooling. You could even learn Mandarin if you wanted." "Fantastic," she opined, even though I didn't know this last bit to be at all true. "That is exactly what I'll do then when I have kids".

I cast a superior glance at the elegant lady and it makes me realise that wild claims are actually a very good idea. It's even better when they turn out to be true.

I do wonder though whether I may have put the nice cashier off her new good idea by having to spend half an hour sweeping the carpark looking for my car.


Sarah said...

Love this post, Carlotta! Especially the last paragraph ;)

merry said...

Grin.. nice post.

You can even learn a bit of mandarin on muddlePuddle, you know ;)

Anonymous said...

People ask you why you buy things in this country? I thought I was rude. o_O I wouldn't give the elegant lady any satisfaction whatsover. But then I'm the anti-social, self-absorved, whatever.

Speaking of languages, any good site to learn English? No, I am serious. :D Something for beginners that is not for kids.

Carlotta said...

Coo, Merry, I'd missed that somehow. Thanks. Will have to wake them both up and get them onto it!

Ron R said...

The reward of enduring enduring the ignorance of others :)

Clare said...

Surely there are rude people all over the world. I find it hard to believe they're all in England!


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