Tomorrow, we're taking the boys up to Liverpool for the weekend. They're looking forward to it in much the same way as they look forward to going abroad. For them, Liverpool is a foreign country. Everything there seems very different and, more importantly, they don't understand the language.
Last time we were there, the Big Fella (10 at the time) met up with a local boy of about the same age who asked him, in a strong Scouse accent: "Oo joo sport?" The Big Fella was puzzled, he recognized it was a question but couldn't make out what he was being asked. So he said "What?" and took a few steps closer. "Oo joo sport?". My boy still can't make it out. "What?" and a few steps closer.
This happens a couple more times before I step in - the two of them are practically nose to nose by now, the oo-joo-sports are becoming louder and more deliberate and I'm starting to worry that a continued lack of communication might result in some kind of incident
Me: He's asking you who you support.
BF: What do you mean?
Me: He wants to know which team you support.
BF: What kind of team?
Me: Football! He wants to know which football team you support!
BF: Oh, I don't really.
At which, his young questioner looked quite askance, momentarily unable to believe that anyone in this soccer-mad city (let alone a boy of about his own age) would not support some football team or other. Still, it didn't phase him for long, friendly and eager for a playmate, he asked: "Worra ye do in the savy?" My boy said "What?" and took a few steps closer....
Later, I told him: "Next time we go up to Liverpool I'm going to buy you a book on how to speak Scouse." Sometimes, it really does sound like a foreign language.