Have you ever had one of those odd conversations where one of you is talking about one thing, and the other is unwittingly hearing and responding with something else entirely?
I had one of those cross-purpose chats just the other day and along with the other person, we practically ended up rolling around on the floor laughing.
Just so you know – in my little corner of South West Australia there is a gorgeous country town called Denmark. It’s on a river, in a forest, by the sea and it’s about 4 hours south from where we live. There is also, of course, the other Denmark – the European one. Much bigger and further away.
It was January.
“So where did you go for the long weekend?”
“We were lucky enough to go to Denmark!” I said, beaming.
“Oh, wow. That’s marvellous!” His eyes lit up as if I’d just won the lottery.
“Thanks! Yes, it was gorgeous. So green and hilly.”
“Really? I thought Denmark was quite flat?”
“Well, it’s a bit hilly.” I said, not wanting to be confrontational. “And the vineyards are lovely.”
“Ah yes, green I can imagine. But I didn’t know they made wine there. Lots of rain, I expect. Did you have any snow while you were there?”
“No!” I laughed. “It wasn’t cold enough for snow.”
“No? That’s a shame, you could have gone skiing, if the weather was right?”
“Umm. Water skiing maybe.” Being quite new to SWA, I did wonder if there were slopes somewhere around Denmark with false snow and a ski lift.
“Even so, January would have been a bit cold for water skiing, wouldn’t it?” He said.
“Umm. No the weather was really hot.”
“In January? Gosh, you were lucky. But what about jetlag?”
I laughed. “Jetlag?”
“Yes, did you suffer from it being there such a short time?”
“No. No. I don’t think it’s really far enough away to get Jetlag.”
“Gee. You’re a hardened traveller. Not far enough away! And you managed to get there for just a long weekend! Amazing!”
I was beginning to wonder about this person. How far was acceptable for him to travel on a long weekend? Four hours didn’t seem so far for us. And why was he so concerned with jetlag?
“Well, yes. It’s not sooo far away. Four days were quite enough to see most things,” I replied warily.
“I think I would have preferred to spend at least two weeks there – and of course you’re so close to so many other countries.”
My mind suddenly switched into gear.
“Countries?” I asked tentatively.
He looked at me as if I was quite stupid.
“Yes, you know, Germany, France, Belgium, etc.”
And so the penny dropped. H’d been talking about the country Denmark in Europe, while I’d been talking about the little town in SWA.
I told him of my gaffe and he acknowledged his misunderstanding.
Then we larfed and larfed and larfed.