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Refereeing between two cultures in West London

Refereeing between two cultures in West London

In the apartment block in which I live, there are two flats on the ground floor. One is occupied by a libidinous woman, and the other newly occupied by two Chinese couples (which is a neat trick in a two-bed flat).

Suffice it to say that the new Chinese neighbours have caused a couple of ruffles, mostly by leaving trash in the back garden or the front garden. To be fair, nobody had actually gotten round to explaining the rules to the new neighbours, and I’ve been left in the odd position of having to defend people I’ve never met.

This all came to a head when I heard some drunken argumentative screaming outside the front door, between the two neighbours. Thus I had to referee the argument between one slurring woman, who is VERY precious about “her” space – even if it is a communal building – and the Chinese-speaking neighbours, who couldn’t understand just what all the fuss was about.

In the process, I think the Chinese neighbours were delighted to find someone who could at least explain cultural differences, even if we don’t speak anywhere near the same language.

I have, in the past, found myself in the bizarre position of trying to use my pidgin Chinglish to tell a competition winner he’d won a laptop – and miserably failing, upon which the prize was allocated to someone else. I really ought to learn Chinese. Or start bleaching my skin and vaccuuming my eyeballs. 😉

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