Thursday, 6 August 2009

universal language of sport

Porpoise Point, Maine
Dmitry was from Volgograd. "That was Stalingrad, wasn't it?" I asked. "Very good", he said, "most people think of Leningrad".

"St Petersburg", I thought, "I've nearly been there."

"There's the big statue in Volgograd", he continued, "It's the one of the Motherland".

"THAT big statue", I thought, "It's spectacular". We chatted about the battle of Stalingrad in the second World War, the way his Russian cities had been renamed and then how he wound up in this part of America. Dmitry had learned his English from books. "Oxford books", he added, "So I would learn proper English. I can tell the difference between an American and a British accent immediately, although Scotland and Glasgow can be difficult".

"You must like soccer?", he asked, "We have some great Russian players in your teams now, in Tottenham and Chelsea." I nodded, "Many of the players in the major English teams are from overseas nowadays, and the coaches and managers. The team names are more of a brand."

He could sense I was out of my depth trying to talk soccer. "Go over that causeway", he pointed, "There are some great views".

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