CATENGESP


NOT QUITE A FIGHT

(23/02/2008)

Aquest article no estÓ tradu´t al catalÓ; es mostra la seva versiˇ en anglŔs

On a Mataronian African being improbably accused.

CATALONIA TODAY ľ SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE EIGHTY-EIGHT


Last Thursday evening, the tavern opposite the Matarˇ RENFE had the usual incongruous mix of people ever to be found in station bars: a smattering of sozzled old men, a lonely looking teenage girl, an odd couple (she a dyed blonde, he burly and greying, with an arm in plaster), a dapper African, myself and Gary Gibson (an adoptive Mataronian and occasional contributor to this magazine, among other things).
Gary left, and, having time to kill, I was about to order another beer when the bouncer and the blonde started to scream insults at the African, claiming he had just pilfered their mobile. Offended, the African rapid-fired salvos of expletives back at his accusers. The barman, meanwhile, found the missing mobile in the toilet (either accidentally dropped or deliberately stashed, depending on whose version you believed).
The African now whipped out his defensive trump cards: he already owned a state-of-the-art cellphone (which he duly produced); he was an established citizen, having lived in Matarˇ for ten years; he was married to a Catalan woman (presumably to back up this assertion, he now started speaking in Catalan). But lurking behind his sound and fury was a thinly disguised amalgam of embarassment and humiliation. After all, he was doubtless well aware that no matter how long he lived in Matarˇ, no matter how cutting-edge his gadgets, no matter how many Catalan wives he ended up going through, should he happen to fall under any suspicion, he would still forever have to prove himself by frantically brandishing these hard-won credentials in the air before an audience that would tend to assume they were phony. Being an African in Europe, it struck me as I passed his straining-to-be-proud face on the way out, was a full time job in itself.



- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programaciˇ: Nac -