Simon Willison’s Weblog


Learning a language behind bars is a good way to meet foreign nationals
and hear interesting stories about their lives back home and how they ended up doing porridge. I learnt a bit of Spanish with a 70 year-old Columbian grandfather who’d hit hard times and tried to bring a suitcase full of cocaine through Heathrow. He didn’t speak a word of English before jail and had learnt it all from the Cockney geezers on the wing. As a result he didn’t understand basic outside world vocabulary such as ‘traffic cone’ or ‘coat hanger’, but he did talk about ‘avin a bubble with his china plates’

Carl Cattermole