Monday, September 08, 2008

Nae Bather

Recently, I was a passenger on an Aberdeen bus.

Given that I had a hangover and had had only a few hours' sleep, I didn't have the Magic Tune Box pumping its wares into my lugs.

Because I didn't have the Magic Tune Box on, I was subjected to the conversations of the passengers around me.

As the bus passed through the Altens industrial estate, a black man alighted on the bus, a huge white grin greeting the passengers before him.

He was barely in his seat when his phone rang.

It became evident fairly quickly that this latest arrival on the bus was from Nigeria. And that we was deeply religious.

His first word upon answering the phone was "Hallelujah" - he was evidently delighted to hear from the caller, whom it transpired was his pastor from Nigeria, who had returned to Scotland the previous night.

None of this is the reason why the man struck me as unusual - although devout Christians from Nigeria aren't ten-a-penny in Aberdeen.

What struck me was the man's accent. He spoke in a broad, sing-song Nigerian accent - but his speech was littered with words and phrases heard only in the northeast of Scotland.

On several occasions I heard him say "Nae bather" (that's baa-ther, not bay-ther), "bra" (as in good, not over the shoulder boulder holder) and, at the end of his conversation, "cheerio".

I don't know why it's stayed with me since then, but I found the conversation comical, and I only heard half of it. Maybe I was still drunk....


Misssy M said...

I love that. We had friends once that were Danish, and the kids would use NE vernacular all the time. It was especially funny when they were speaking Danish with one another and would pepper their speech with phrases like "Away ye go!" or "Nae bother!"

Misssy M said...

Oh I meant to say- you've still got me as a blog author. You should probably take me off as I might get smashed and invade your blog or something...