Monthly Archives: January 2012

Lost in translation

Some things don’t quite translate from one culture to another.

Some things never seem to change.

Take Breakfast TV on BBC 1 – an excellent example of British ethnography.  Yesterday, somewhere in between shaving and a pre-breakfast coffee in my room at the excellent Ashburton in Scarborough – a discussion at 7.30 in a car park on a new report on how people park their cars in shopping malls. Apparently women drivers park better, and between the lines. Cue woman driver in a pink car parking nicely between the lines.

Now compare this with my country, where I remember one man’s claim to fame was ‘parking’ his Ford Escort with halogen lights on full beam, on the ‘zuntier‘ of the parish church with ‘Highway to Hell’ blasting from his ‘X-treme’ sound system. 

Definition of zuntier: huge space plus steps in front of a church, used by people who like to drift out of mass for a fag; or for the erection of billboards (against divorce, solicitation of donations, advertising the Pork Fair in the Pjazza etc.)