Lost In Translation
At the time of writing this blog, I am currently enjoying the benefits of a short break in Zagreb. Anyone who has been here will know how much culture and history there is, not to mention the wonderful restaurants (so long as you avoid the usual tourist destinations) and the lovely people (if you ignore their love of smoking and graffiti).
You may also have noticed that culturally they are quite different from people in the UK. There is their love of cafes, where you drop in (often with food purchased elsewhere) and sit in large groups and talk (loudly) and smoke, inside and out. There is their fear of the rain (when we’d finished lunch on the third day, the restaurant owner wanted to order us a taxi because they rain was coming – we laughed, we’re from London, no amount of rain worries us). Or how about the cafe where three of the tables had chairs that were swings – interestingly no one was sitting on them!
And of course, there were the language difficulties, including the cafe that had the sign outside that I’ve used as inspiration for this article. I’m not using it to be rude, but to illustrate that one man’s obscenity is another man’s normal. We laughed the whole way past the cafe, like 13-year-old school children, but the venue was full of people who thought that the name was perfectly acceptable. It reminded me of Jasper Carrot and his routine about zits, but that probably shows my age.
In all things, communication is key. Just because something looks odd to you, doesn’t mean it does to other parties. Having said that, I’m a great believer in trusting your instincts. If you are that far apart from another party that you can’t understand the difference between a trendy name and an obscenity, then perhaps you shouldn’t be in business together. If you are not sure, and you want a second opinion, let’s go to a smoke-free-bar and have a drink and a chat, I’m a good listener and I’ve heard every obscenity there is!
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