English Whingeing


Friday, I enjoyed a day out to the beach with friends. During the afternoon’s shenanigans someone commented on the fact that I’d not posted anything recently on this blog. This is true and I have several reasons, the first being a useless internet connection. Before last Wednesday, when we had our broadband installed, I had been using a pay-as-you-go key, which had a pathetic upload speed: That was if it managed to find any signal at all. Another reason is, friends. The UK was given respite from Naylor, (my partner in crime) for a week as she came over to stay at her wonderful house at the top of Casoli, so time was taken up with beers in the Borgo bar.

I had gone down to our local broadband supplier a couple of weeks ago and ordered a package to suit our needs. “We’ll call you on Monday to arrange a time to come to your house,” the young man with a reasonable command of English said, and I left happy. Monday came and went, then Tuesday, then Wednesday… (You get the idea) So after waiting a week and a half I drove down and decided to have a spot of good old English whingeing.

I walked up to the door of the offices as a man in a suit was exiting, instead of holding the door open for me, he let it slam shut behind himself and strode away with a curt demeanour. I mumbled a word beginning with ‘T’ under my breath as I pushed the switch to activate the door. A tiny woman opened it, muttering something about the rude man who’d locked it, I smiled thinking I was correct in my appraisal. “How I help you?” she asked, sensing I was English and tucking a stray hair behind her ear. I then launched into my tale of disappointment in not receiving the promised call. “Have you an order placed?” she asked, I replied in the affirmative and gave her my name, confusing her with my flat vowels. She leafed through all of the pending orders and was unable to find mine. No wonder, it was still on the desk where the young man with a reasonable command of English had left it. “We, your telephone number have?” I nod, “We call you.” I shake my head and raise my eyebrows, “Is there any other companies nearby I can go to?” she looks confused, so I ask again, this time saying, “C’è un’altra azienda vicina?” She asks why and I tell her i need the broadband for my work, I tell her I told the young man with a reasonable command of English, this weeks ago. So I need to find a reliable supplier. She exits into another office and I hear muffled voices. A man reappears and shakes my hand. “We come on three-thirty, Wednesday at your house to see.”

Sure enough at three-thirty a car pulls up and two sweaty young men climb out. “I’m Angelo,” the handsome one of the two says, “I come to install for you.” Within minutes he’s up a ladder at the back of the house fitting a receiver for the WiFi signal. Giorgio, the tubby, short one drills a hole for the cable and then proves that workmen the world over have something in common, the inability to bend over without flashing their arse-crack. They log into the signal via my laptop, enthuse about how fast it is, drink some cold water and then disappear.

So now it’s fitted and the builder is complaining that the receiver will be in the way of his scaffolding, but I have more pressing matters, I need to download music. So I open the laptop, log on and download The Minutes, the superb new album by Alison Moyet. Now all is good with the world, I have a reliable internet connection and access to new music downloads once again.

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Click here to buy the album

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