Language Class. I sat on a chair designed for somebody a fifth of my age and weight. My knees let me know that they were not enjoying this unaccustomed position.
We were waiting for Stavros, who was to be our tutor. Margaret and I had come with our neighbour Nicky, who, to our ears at least, already spoke Greek. Nevertheless, she was adamant that the beginner class was right for her.
Scanning the room, I guessed that Brits were the majority, but there were East Asians, Middle Eastern people, Russians and Eastern Europeans too. Some had come alone, some with partners of friends.
“Beginner’s Greek?” Asked a woman at the door.
“I hope so,” I replied.
The woman nodded, came in followed a young man. They walked to the front of the class.
Greek Level 1
“Hello. My name is Angela and I will be your tutor.”
There followed some approximate introductions and a confusion of administration. Satisfied that Angela was in charge, the young man left. Turns out he was Stavros and he had passed us off to Angela for reasons unknown.
I was reminded of the 1970s UK TV comedy “Mind Your Language”, as the class interacted. I daresay we will be a more politically correct crowd, but the potential for humour is obvious as we all struggle to bend our minds to a new tongue.
Once it was agreed that bureaucracy and registration would be sorted remotely next week, we moved onto the serious, and surprisingly taxing, task of the alphabet.
There are some letters in Greek that look and sound identical to their English counterparts. A, Alpha. “Got it,” I thought.
However, the plot thickened. Some letters look like their English counterparts, but have a completely different pronunciation. “Oh good.” I muttered sourly.
“And finally, we have letters that bear no resemblance to English, in appearance or sound.” Angela beamed.
I have a feeling that I might be a little long in the tooth for a new language.
It’s all Greek to me.