Monday, 13 July 2009

And as for the poor scared one...

I agreed to having a new student for a week starting this Saturday. The poor man turned up just before our friends with a five year old and a dog arrived. He admitted he was against dogs, but was happy it would not enter his room or go upstairs.

Then he ran out, well left for the afternoon. Only for the doorbell to ring at about eight at night and a fifty something man to be asking for him. I explained he wasn't in and then the man wanted to ring him, but said he did not have his number. I started to get really freaked out and imagining all sorts when this man finally said he knew the students parents from their home country. I was still a bit weirded out, so shut the door while I got our phone number to be passed to the parents.

Then when our student came back, he at least said the man was legitimate. But still, I felt quite uncomfortable. Basically I think I go on auto suspicious pilot whenever anyone I don't know knocks on our door (life skill learnt in period in inner city I'm afraid - though I have to say that worst door knocking was by strange police).

So on to Sunday morning, poor lovely young student got thirsty in the night and came down for a drink of water. Great little floppy eared Daisy was delighted he'd come to see her, and thought he wanted to play chase. So she chased him up the stairs to his bedroom, where he just about managed to shut the door before she ran in. (n.b. I had showed him how to operate the stair gate but I think the horror of dog chase made him forget).

Then we partied, well with tea and cakes and small children - and our student ventured in to the living room to check his e-mail. He was then assaulted by a small child with his face painted bright red (sort of post Spiderman) and very blonde hair. Small child grassed up by other small child with butterfly face so at least we were able to apologise.

Later in the evening, whilst still checking his e-mail (actually about three hours later), he was horrified to learn we had had some wine earlier, we keep in in the house, we pop out for cigarettes, and we lounge about laughing at/with Top Gear. Felt so bad could not have another glass of wine until I sneaked in kitchen to drink it.

And on top of all that, I think some students/local youngsters were rampaging through these quiet streets last night, laughing and being drunk. I got woke up at least every hour by random noises, and then later by children playing 10 in the bed or equivalent.

Feel a bit bad about our rubbish cultural sensitivity, but equally am sure it would not be valid trip to UK if 'real' slightly messy people were not encountered. Sadly for lovely, scared student his previous host family were lovely, they bought him special halal meat (I suggested he try our veggie food), they did not have alcohol in the house and um, were nice people.


depesando said...

but you saved him from potential white slave traders!!!!

In all honesty - he should have been briefed, or at least had enough common sense to know what it's like to live in the UK. Perhaps you should go on an exchange to an orthodox family and demand Gin, Ham, Prawns and puppies.

Why Me? said...

Think I agree that if he's come to learn about our country and culture than thats all off it and not the censored parts. as for halal food you might find that a lot of the veggie stuff you like could be brought in halal easily enough for the week, sort of compromise? I know trinity wholefoods do a lot of halal as do various supermakets nowdays.

Sandra Morris said...

D'you want to borrow Small Dog?

Sort of aversion therapy.

Might work.....

Seriously though, having 'had' students for 2 years I can empathise with the trauma they can engender.
We got to the point where we were wondering whether the small financial recompense was worth all the hassle.
Finally, we had a group of extemely well-off female Italian students, whose every garment was 'designer'.

We solemnly warned them not to let Small Dog into their rooms but, of course,they did, which resulted in Small Dog rummaging around in one of their suitcases then running round the house at top speed, brandishing a lacy, sequinned Dolce & Gabbana thong in her jaws till we were able to head her off at the pass at the top of the stairs and retrieve the slightly foxed 'garment' from her slavering jaws.


They were not amused.

tattyhousehastings said...

Right, Small Dog must live in my house - sorry Sandra, as recompense I can offer some small children though.
And Richard - I do intend to demand gin on demand as often as possible.
Finally - I tried to have a decent chat this evening, and explained this is how British people live (well the slacker wine drinking ones), and that he is here to experience our culture. He said he is not, and will not be eating any meal apart from breakfast with us, as in his culture he must eat a big meal at lunchtime not in the evening. So that's the halal sorted I guess.
Then he ran off upstairs - oops...and I do consider myself to be culturally aware - just that this is my bloomin house and if I want to drink cheap white wine in front of the telly with a floppy eared spaniel on a Saturday night I will!
n.b. not sure I knew knickers could be designer. That is true learning innit.

Why Me? said...

Could you have a word with his school/supervisors? otherwise sounds like you might be in for a grim week or two. change to baileys and tell him its medicinial, certainly will be if you have to put up with tantrums from him!

I can't understand why if we visit their countries we are expected to be tolerant and compliant but if they visit ours then we're just wrong and rude?!

good luck, sounds like you might need it for this one.