Jun 27, 2008


Waiting for the tram yesterday morning I was struck by the diversely colourful attire of the female commuters - but what grabbed my attention the most, were not the clothes - but the ladies feet! Female toenails to be exact, in all shapes, sizes and colours, peeping out from all manner and style of sandals.

Standing between two women I recognised as neighbours from my street, my eyes were riveted by the sight of our toes. My own honey yellow offerings twinkled up at me from between red cherry to the left and deep purple plum to the right and in the ten minutes we waited for the tram, we were joined by orange fizz, green apple, black liquorice, juicy blueberry and raspberry pink!

Fascinated and amused, I nudged both neighbours - who were chattering in Dutch behind my bent head - to take a look at the multicoloured phenomenon below. Glancing down and chuckling briefly, they were about to resume their conversation when I injected an item of my own.
‘The sight of all these toes is making my mouth water!’
The neighbour on the left looked blank but the one on the right smiled nervously and shifted slightly away. Then the tram arrived and we all piled in and got separated.

As we trundled along, I mused on that ‘look’. I get this a lot in the Netherlands. Even after all the years I’ve lived here the language can still stump me. It’s no good just insinuating something the way you would in English and expect the subtlety of your wit to be understood. In Dutch you must explain yourself properly and I suddenly realised that what I should have said was: ‘The nail varnishes all have names of fruits and the thought of them is making my mouth water.’ Which if you’ve got to explain it that much has killed the whole point of saying it in the first place and it wasn’t what I meant anyway! Darn it! So now by the time the sun goes down, everyone in our street will think I’ve got a foot fetish!

Oh well, let them think what they like, I couldn’t care less, because my mouth was still watering and it was the toenails themselves causing it - but only because the sight of all those shiny, round, multicoloured little objects had given me an overwhelming craving for a bag of M and M’s!


Anonymous said...

Your secret is out now! But don't worry I'll not tell anyone ;)

Geri Atric said...

LOL! Yes (tongue in cheek) I've always been secretly partial to M and M's.!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel, Geri.

I lived among the English for many years and for some bizarre reason, they took my frequent use of the F-word as profanity, whereas every Irishman knows it's just punctuation out loud.

Geri Atric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geri Atric said...

Oops! Accidently deleted my own comment..!
I think I said: Ah, lol - that's because the English prefer the B-word... which could mean just about anything.