A young Roma man has appeared on a Czech/Slovak Got Talent programme and was very popular, cavorting on the table itself in front of the judges and getting through.  

He sung in English I was told by people in Sheffield who saw it on cable TV.  Roma singers often go on but usually the judges say: You are good but it only really appeals to Roma people. 

So this young man sung in English.  I heard a little of it and it was sort of Reggae English, Jamaican English.  

I know him.  I met him only once properly in a fairly formal setting of a network meeting in which he and I were, to some extent, in separate camps.  Not a very nice circumstance. I tried speaking to him and I got the tone wrong.  

I listened to him speaking but later tried to say some phrase in Romani.  I think I confused the verb ‘to see/look’ (te dihkel) and ‘to say/talk’ (te penel).  It was a confusion that I was making often at the time.  After I said a phrase he looked at me and asked in English of course which he speaks beautifully: Do you know what you are saying?

Yes, I replied.  Blustering.  I felt ashamed since that moment and run back and forth over it wishing I’d not blundered. 

So much that I do that is liked and then something small in a way that weighs heavily on my mind.  Shame.  The Italians say Shamo!  Idiot!  Fool!

Fool!  I’ll accept that thank you.  

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