>On shutting up, comrade

>You’ll pardon my cheap, unnecessary and outdated reference to ‘comrade’ in the title as I continue to write about the behaviour of Russians and other former Soviet Union bloc country nationals who happen to attend the same Danish class as me.

I shall be unpleasant and continue to say they all behave in a similar fashion by talking endlessly to each other throughout each class. “Nyet! Da!” and other goddamn commie talk expressions and comments presumably about learning Danish (but probably plotting revolution, or worse, westernisation) all get in the way of the rest of us honest joes struggling to get to grips with the gutteral slurrings that are the national tongue of Denmark.

I would not be writing this if I hadn’t observed it in all of them in my class. They joined one by one, then quickly grouped in collectives. This is not unusual in language classes, and I myself often sit next to a fellow English chap (when he bothers to show up, the lightweight). It can be helpful to have someone from home with whom you can foul-up and look stupid with.

But then chattering started. I hit back, shooting glances across the room but they hit their target. Indirectly, the teacher caught them and she became my ally in classroom cold war conflict. Interrupting their yakking (surely a pun!), she asked them questions, then watched as they struggled.

And struggle they did, for along with their endless rabbit, all of them are possessed with an arrogance when it comes to their command of Danish. I was thrown out of my last language school for being so crap, I was slowing everyone up. The Russian scientist (I was instantly suspicious) took to reaching over and actually writing in my notebook corrections to my exercises! In my current class, another did the same! But they aren’t as good as they think, and sounding like a frustrated schoolmaster, I suggest they quit talking among themselves and concentrate on the language.

Now, excuse me while I go off and punish myself and dream of being more than I ever will be.

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