I, AND ABOUT A HUNDRED other people on my estate were rudely awoken the other morning by a group of druggies tripping on something or other, shouting, laughing etc. Then my doorbell rang and I just got heavy breathing through the intercom. Just as things sounded like they were dying down, a heavily drunken bald man appeared on the private grass just below my balcony. He was ranting away to himself in the most obscene racist language, which I could hear with exceeding clarity, as when the weather is warm I tend to sleep with my back door open (it opens to a 30ft drop, so not too much of a security risk... (I hope!))
Turns out he had been mugged and robbed of his mobile phone by some youths of Afro-Carribbean descent. But I'm not sure most of my neighbours were listening intently enough to discern this. They would just have picked up on his attitude and his fury, which, at 6:30am on a weekend sounded very threatening. Next thing I knew he had kicked over three giant recycling bins. I could hear my neighbours pottering around above me and to the side, so I really hoped someone was ringing the police. The police did duly turn up and the man was "nicked". And suddenly the streets were full of dog-walkers. All awoken at the same crazy hour. And then I fell asleep. And slept and slept. And slept and slept and slept. And slept a little bit more. Eventually rising at FIVE PM. How very louche of me! But then I am a "schizophrenic". Even Binky was saying I "obviously had schizophrenia". I don't know. I wasn't acting weirdly but no fewer than THREE separate people on her ward asked me if I was "just visiting" (ie they're saying "you look like a patient from another ward"). Also manic girl #3 (there are currently six of them) told me I was very hyper the other day. That was the day of the Bulgarian sing-along. The Bulgarian lady is the most manic of all.
Were am I going with this..? Well FINALLY I MET A GOOD GP. I had to check their website choice of more than a dozen doctors to find one with an express interest in mental health, as Dr Benderson, the evil Brothel-Madam-looking cow, obviously has no time for all things Mental (which does beg the question of WHY IS SHE IN GENERAL PRACTICE if she doesn't like nutters..?) Anyway really I came for him to look at my back. It was really playing up, so I could barely lift my feet to wash them in the shower that morning. I don't know what happened. I took some Gear, for the painkilling effect ~ and that seems to have cured me ever since. Either that or it just went away. I'm Really Trying Not To Use Heroin. That's from a life gone by and I really want a new life.
I had to ask the doctor for a letter that I can have passed on to a furniture charity as my flat is still totally bare and I'm sleeping on a cold concrete floor. The doctor said that is probably NOT helping my back. (I thought people slept on beds to be middle class. And because in hot countries snakes, scorpions and other creepies like to cavort across bedroom floors...?) Anyway my letter says I have "schizophrenic disorders". So I read this and thought AM I REALLY SCHIZOPHRENIC? I don't know... I'm in 2 minds about the matter (wah waah). Binky is no help. I think she is too suggestible. The poor girl has been in there coming up 2 months now. Nobody knows when they're letting her out... I made friends with five patients on her ward. One, who really is schizzy, in a particuarly ditzy way, invited me to her flat for dinner. But she says it's infested with red spiders, so I'm bringing a can of Raid with me (just in case). Someone told me she has schizoaffective mania, which would be what I got diagnosed with. Bloody hell if I really was like that then no wonder I kept getting odd looks when I went crazy.
Anyway I don't think about psychology these days, I'm more into foreign languages. I'm learning five at once: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese. German and French via Hotbird TV. Spanish and Italian via Linguaphone. Japanese via the NHK TV programme Meet and Speak. But the language there is so very basic I'm actually ahead of them. It's my goal to speak seven languages fluently: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese (+ English makes 7). I'd also like to get at least A Level competence in 14 more: Dutch, Portuguese, Romanian, Arabic, Russian, Hindi, Thai, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Burmese, Hebrew and Greek and Welsh. This is a LIFETIME GOAL. I'm not planning to achieve it by next year. If you really put some welly into it, you can go from nought to A Level in 2 years, which means 14 languages would take me 28 years and I'd be 69 by the time I accomplished my goal.
The world is full of more cunning linguists than I. The world record for language acquisition belongs to Mr Ziad Fazah of Brazil, who apparently speaks some 59 tongues fluently. (But I saw him on Youtube and his English wasn't THAT amazing...)
They're saying he speaks and writes 58. So he's learnt one more in the time being...
Full Clip. (From Chilean TV)
ZIAD FAZAH ~ FLUENT IN 58 LANGUAGES
"HOW I BECAME FLUENT IN 11 LANGUAGES"
Alex from London.
Puts me to shame...
English, French, Greek, German, Russian, Dutch, Afrikaans, Italian, Hebrew, Catalán, Spanish
Note how, apart from Greek and Hebrew, these fall into three groups
Germanic: English, German, Dutch, Afrikaans
Latin: French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan
His accent in Spanish and German is pretty good...