Foreign language students are a fact of life here in Torquay and other sea side towns along the south coast. We make a lot of money from them and they learn some English and have a good time while they are here. Most are fine, but just a few are a pain in the neck, just like everywhere. One of the problems is being foreign they have no idea of the concept of queuing for buses. Queuing for buses is very much alive and well here, well, not quiet 100% but no where near the status of endangered species yet. I am sure the Language Schools try and instill in their students that waiting in a line to board a bus is much more acceptable than trampling little old ladies into the pavement in an effort to get the best seats on the bus. Mind you I have seen a few little old ladies doing their share of trampling in my time. The other problem with the students and one that again the Language Schools should look at is their tendency to go out for a days site seeing in large groups and then wonder why 60 or 70 of them are a little unwelcome if they all try and get on a bus in the middle of rush hour. Perhaps that’s why they don’t queue. An other problem is that most of them buy bus passes but there are always a few who don’t and indulge in the game of “Pass the Pass.” They think they have invented it and get a nasty shock when the bus driver takes the pass off them and makes then wait for the next bus. On which they will have to pay, shock, horror, shame.
Anyway, yesterday two young boys boarded the bus and had not the least idea where they were going and not a word of English between them, I hope they learn fast, my first foreign language students of the year. The first of thousands.
So I muttered my mantra, one I try every year:- “I WILL BE NICE TO FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDENTS THIS YEAR.” Yeah, Right.