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January 2023


6:29 am8:23 pm ACDT
Feels like: 29°C
Wind: 14km/h SW
Humidity: 39%
Pressure: 1007.45mbar
UV index: 5

“drfslcns” and “diddle”

Sitting at a bus stop today in mid-day heat, I was wondering whether I should be cross with myself for waiting at the wrong bus station:  The sun was shining full force right into the little bus shelter with three or four people there expecting the bus to show up any minute.  Of course, being in Adelaide, this was pretty much a hopeless dream – the next bus was only due in at least 15 min.Well then, I thought to myself, I can as well sit-down und do some reading.  An Asian bloke and a lady were already occupying the small bench, so I asked whether they’d let me sit between them.  Somehow we started chatting, something like the bus being (always) late, when the lady stashed away her mobile and said (sort of) to me:
“Aaaahw, I just got my drfslcns … I am so happy, it finally worked out …”
I was confused:  drfslcns …??, hmmm, that sounded like Aussie speak, or at least something that I was sure not to find it in my “Oxford Australian Dictionary”.
“Oh, well,” I responded, being polite as I am, and as vague as possible, “congratulations …”
“Yes,” she replied, “it was so easy!, aaannd … do you also drf ??”
Oupps, I thought, what’s that ?  How do I answer this question ?
“Oh, not yet …”, I trailed off, not knowing what else to say.
“But you are driving in your home country ?!”, the lady inquired.
Ahhh, now I understood:  She was talking about her driver’s licence she’d just been issued somewhere nearby.
“Yeeeesss, of course I am driving in Germany … Well, you may have heard, that I am a foreigner, haven’t you?”
“Oh yes, of course, and I believe, it must be very hard for you being out here.  I have been living in Canada for a year, and I know how tough it is not to being home around friends and family.”
“Ja,” I mumbled, my book still closed in my hands, “yeah, you’ll feel a big lonely in times, and it’s often hard to understand the locals talking to you …”
“Ohhh yesss,” the lady replied, now with broad smile on her face, “you know, this test was actually pretty easy.  Now I am allowed to drive a car for the first time, because my boss wants me to travel back and forth between two of his offices, and I am allowed to use his car.  And, maybe,” she added, “maybe some of my friends will let me drive as well while teaching me what to look for …”
Oups … I was confused again … did Lady have a driver’s licence or not ??  I asked her about that, and she explained, yes, she obtained a licence to drive, but hadn’t driven as of yet.  She’d have to start driving under supervision for some few hundred hours before being granted the final licence, or whatever it is over here down under …
“But then,” she continued, not looking at my book, but now smiling at me, “I am not sure whether I want to drive my friends’ cars.  What if I diddle them because I miss a stop sign …?  You know, the online version of the driver’s test was very easy … but I just made it …”
I was at loss again … diddle ???  “You mean, like having an accident because overlooking a give way sign?”, I ask her.
“Yes, and I don’t want to diddle my friends car … Well, maybe if I get myself a very cheap car, and if an accident happens, well, then it’s my problem …”
“Yes,” I gave as a reply, not knowing what to make out of this.  Anyway, lucky me, the bus was turning around the corner, and all of us got up to make sure, the bus driver – actually a lady – would be aware of us and pick us up …
Later at home, I checked my “Oxford Australian Dictionary”, trying to find out, whether I had learned a new word.  Hmm, there it was, but it was explained as “to cheat, to swindle” …  Well, even though I am still at a loss what Lady really meant, I definitely did come across a new term … and I hope I’ll not have to face it seriously under different circumstances …

(Written in March 2007 for a TAFE ESL course)

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