Mind the Gap

I was reading an article this morning about the London Underground or Tube, and a funny incident came to mind.

A long time ago, more than fifteen years ago, I used to work in London.  It was my first trip outside India, and everything was fascinating and exciting.   I saw places that I had only read about,  and got to try all those food items that Enid Blyton wrote about in her books.

I learned about the Tube, and how to Mind the Gap and the pronunciation of certain words, which i had until that point pronounced differently.

My colleagues, who were already based there, took my enthusiasm in stride.

I must have been about a week old in London, and my colleagues and I were getting back to our workplace from a meeting.


       Courtesy – http://www.telegraph.co.uk

We took the Tube. The escalator in that station was very long or high, whatever the measure used.

I had just learned the rule that people who wanted to walk up the escalator walked on the right, while others stood on the left.

My colleagues told me that it was a thrill to walk up this longest escalator and that we would  time ourselves. I was very excited. Being the only lady, they asked me to start first.

I climbed, briskly, wow…it was exciting, and huff…puff…, I was struggling. The snake went on and on. I could not slow down, as my colleagues were behind me, or so I thought.

Like the wolf in the Three Li’l Pigs, I arrived on the top, a mass of huff-puff. I looked at my watch. Yay!

I turned around to look for my colleagues for a high five. Imagine my shock – all of them were travelling up on the left side. They caught my glares from above and shook with laughter.

I have such wonderful memories of London. It remains one of my favourite cities.


The joke’s delayed

Last week, one of my friends had been to Korea on work.

To overcome the language barrier, there were interpreters and translators in every meeting.

My friend told me something, which I found quite funny.

During their meetings, after the initial shaking of hands and good mornings, the Koreans would talk, the interpreter would translate into English, and then my friend would respond in English, then the interpreter would translate it back into Korean. This went on, back and forth till both teams had settled into a rhythm, and were more comfortable with each other.

By the second day, they were comfortable enough to joke with each other; the funny part was the Koreans would say something funny and laugh. The interpreter would translate, and wait for my friend and his team to get the joke. They would then laugh.

Once my friend and his teammates got the joke, both sides laughed with complete understanding.

Language is no barrier. Jokes can be enjoyed with anyone, even if we have to wait a bit!