Saturday, 23 July 2011

REAL hazards of vineyard work

A few days ago I wrote about scratched arms and broken loppers. It wouldn't be me if something much more serious didn't happen straight after. The following day I lost my temper while stripping a particularly nasty row, and I kicked a plant so hard that I almost broke my big toe. I didn't pay much attention to the pain at first, but at home I found out that it's all swollen with a big blue bruise on the knuckle. Luckily it wasn't broken, but it put me out of action for two days anyway, and of course now I'm the subject of countless jokes from our supervisor. Lesson learned: never kick a plant when you're pissed off. Take the loppers instead and make one radical cut just above the ground...

By the way, I don't know if it's a coincidence, but the evening prior to this accident we were telling each other stories about foot injuries.

Toes and fingers, a big difference
And another by the way, no matter how good your English is, you always learn something new. I found out that people from English and German speaking countries have only ten fingers, not twenty like the rest of the world (or at least a number of countries whose languages I can speak/understand). There is no such term in English and German as "foot-finger", as opposed to many other languages. Hence English and German speakers don't have twenty fingers - ten on the hands and ten on the feet; instead, they have ten fingers and ten toes. It was quite funny to see the faces of my American, Irish and German friends when they were processing the information that "humans have twenty fingers", as I was trying to tell them, together with my French and Argentinian friends. The best response came from Matt and Lavinia: "are you saying I'm a monkey? Monkeys have twenty fingers, we don't, we can't eat with our feet".

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