Some of you may recollect I covered this as a topic in an earlier post.

However, that was fiction, though Vladimir and Lauren were based on people I know. Now I’m going to deal with the facts ma’am, just the facts.

There’s a hotel in the town where I live. It has a pleasant bar I’m wont to frequent, where I can sit quietly with a pint and get my daily big fix of Sudoku and crosswords. As it happens, and as is often the case in the hospitality industry, a lot of the staff are foreigners, and this leads to some interesting linguistics.

Three of the men share a house. One is South African, with the sort of accent you use to summon a recalcitrant a ridgeback from a runabout on the veldt. One’s Italian, and he’s a nice enough bloke, but with limited English. One’s Portuguese, with a similar limitation.

I once asked the South African how they communicate when they were all back at the house. ‘We get drunk.’ The snake handling Pentecostalists of my earlier post make a comeback I suspect.

He also, bless his heart, tries to correct the Essex members of staff, which is a bit of a case of blind leading the blind. He made a valiant (and ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to get one of the born and bred Essex women to say ‘three’ instead of ‘free.’ Shovelling water uphill without webbed hands.

Previously another of the peripatetic barmen, an Australian, had attempted the same Sisyphean task. He’s left now, but he used to make fun of the fact I say ‘glass’ not ‘glarse.’ This was a bit rich coming from a man who refers to gambling machines as ‘fruities,’ sweets as ‘lollies,’ and pronounces ‘scarf’ as ‘scaff.’

There’s a Polish woman there too. Her accent sounds a bit Dutch, but mixed in with something a bit Slavic. Be warned. Do not tell her that Poland is in Eastern Europe. She’ll tear your head off and spit down your throat. She’s one tough cookie, as you need to be when winter temperatures in your hometown routinely dip below –20 Celsius.