Lost In Translation
Yeah, so French President Macron has been getting a lot of shade recently for describing the Australian prime minister’s wife as “delicious”. How could a politician on the centre-left that supposedly champions personal freedom be using such sexist language to describe a woman?
Well, because he made a mistake. And not one of those “oh, I thought it wasn’t that sexist” mistakes, but rather “’delicious’ and ‘delightful’ are the exact same word in French” kind of mistake.
My dad almost made a similar faux pas in Spain when I was growing up. He was carrying my 3-year-old sister, and a passer-by said “¡ay, qué mona!” This was slang for “wow, she’s cute”, but my dad thought it was the more literal “she looks like a monkey”.
My point is, don’t automatically assume the worst. Take a minute, step back, think about the intent. An ounce of translation is worth more than being pounded. Or something.
I’m pretty sure that when I go on holiday I look about as classically British as it is possible for a tourist to be.
However, there is a difference between travelling abroad, and fitting into a stereotype, and being disparaging about, or disrespectful to, other cutures and customs.
I’m talking about the tourists that waltz around temples like they’ve just strolled into their best friends house, the tourists who refuse to respect local customs, and the tourists who loudly disparage people’s cuisine or dress. Whether or not you are religious or spiritual, places of worship and sacred monuments should be respected, simply because this shows respect towards those that live there. If you don’t like the food or drink you’re trying? That’s fine, but constantly complaining is not. If you wanted everything to your specifications you should have stayed at home.
It’s not that hard to consider other people, particularly when you are being welcomed into their culture, lives and customs. Being considerate costs nothing, and being rude endears you to nobody.
Gigging with Giants
If you’ve ever been to a gig and aren’t the tallest, you’ll have experienced the frustration of having your view blocked by some lanky giant positioned at the front. It seems that no matter when you arrive, or where you end up standing, someone over six foot always manages to slither their way to the front. It’s only if you’re willing to be crushed up against the barrier that you’re able to avoid this huge annoyance.
I know people can’t help how tall they are, and everyone wants the best view possible, but a little consideration for those not so blessed with regards to height would be nice.
Even worse than this is when people right at the front decide it’s a good idea to get on one another’s shoulders. I don’t want to be a buzzkill, but unless you’re in a sunny field at a festival or genuinely can’t see, then what’s the point? If you’re in a sweaty, sticky and claustrophobic venue, then you’re just an inconvenience for everyone behind you.
That being said, as long as there’s good music and a good atmosphere nothing can really ruin a gig. After all, what matters most is what you hear.