Before you read this I must point out that there is the use of a rude word, so if you feel you would be offended please stop here. (Done in all innocence I might add.)
Sometimes people say things here that shock you and in many cases I put down to maybe not understanding the gravity and intensity of the language. I must admit it also works the other way around and I say things that shock Bulgarians as sometimes I take a Bulgarian word literally and use it in completely the wrong context. This week is was the turn of Galia's Son Anton who came to visit us. Which was a prime example of misunderstandings that in this case caused some stress on both sides of the contextual language barrier. Let me explain....
Now my favourite football team is Arsenal, I have been following them for over 50 years through good and bad times. Anton knows this full well and we often argue the case of who is best - his favourite English team Liverpool or my Arsenal. Well this evening it was a semi-final League Cup match between Arsenal and Chelsea which I planned to watch live on TV that evening. By the way, the Cup is not called the League Cup but is known by a sponsor's name, but I refer to the original Cup's name as a little protest in retaliation to business over tradition.
The subject of football inevitably came up with the match this evening and Anton went on to say it going to be a 'Fuck Up for Arsenal!' This shocked me for a few reasons. Having known Anton for over 11 years there has never been an occasion where this kind of language was used. On top of this he cannot speak hardly any English. I straight away said this is very bad language to use. I went on to explain why, he obviously didn't realise how bad that those words were that made me feel very uncomfortable. He replied saying there is nothing wrong in what he said again, 'Tonight is Fuck Up for Arsenal! What's wrong with that?'
We begged to differ for a few hours on the phrase until the match was just about to begin. Anton them said again, 'Look Fuck Up for Arsenal soon!' This time I was quite angry and basically told him I didn't want to hear this again. The fact that I had a feeling Arsenal were going to win tonight fell into deep insignificance as a argument with Anton this evening after this. Anton too was getting irate with my complaints and stance on his words, he just couldn't for the life of him understand why I was so mad.
The match prelude had begun as we both eyed up the team announcements. Art this point there was shown the list of players on screen under the title of the Cup. Anton chose this moment to point to the word Cup printed on the screen and said, 'Fuck Up!' The penny suddenly dropped in my head and I thought this was very funny and bust out laughing. Anton just didn't know what was going on Have you guessed the misunderstandings as this point?
Quite clearly Anton in all his innocence had misunderstood which Cup match was being played tonight, He thought it was the F.A. Cup not the League Cup (as explained earlier). The biggest misunderstanding however was his version of the Cup. to Anton the F.A.Cup was one word namely, 'Facup'. Phonically it sounded exactly the same as 'Fuck Up!'
Mistified why I was in tears laughing, Anton took some convincing that the F. A. Cup was not one word but three, (Football Association Cup). Also I explained the fact that is wasn't the F. A. Cup we were playing for tonight but another cup, which to me made it even funnier. When he finally did understand my explanations, he didn't think it was funny at all! Guess his Bulgarian mindset on this particular event which I thought would have been a universal accepted humoured tainted event just didn't turn on.
My guess now is that when we do mention the F. A. Cup, he will continue to use his one word version, not because he thinks it is funny, probably because still he thinks he is right!
Arsenal did win that evening and are now in the Final of the League Cup, but I will certainly look back on this match and clearly remember it for other reasons.