A Place for Everyone

Mr. Quiet - Roger Hargreaves


One of the annoying things about traveling is that I end up not having enough time to sit down and write a book review, or if I do it is some time after I've either finished the book, or I have left the place where I wanted to write the review. I am currently in Arras France, and I only realised this afternoon that I wanted to write a review in Lille, not that there is all that much in Lille, just a park, a zoo, The Mother of all Citadels (actually it is the Queen of Citadels, but I like my version better), and a railway station for the the Eurostar. Oh, I also happened to find this sign outside a military installation, which suggests that they were having a little problem with Pokemon players:






Anyway, even though I am in Arras, I will still mark this review as having been written in Lille, namely because it is only a half-hour train journey away, and since it takes me an hour to get from home to work in the morning, I guess being half-an-hour away from a place technicality counts being in a place.


So, here we have poor Mr Quiet who happens to live in a place called Loudland. It seems that all of the Mr Men seem to live in places which really don't suit them. The thing with Loudland is that for anybody to hear you you need to shout. It is sort of like when you would listen to Metallica at full bore when you were a kid and your parents told you off because loud music damages your ears. Actually, come to think of it my mobile phone tells me off if I listen to music too loud and automatically turns it down, which is really annoying because when I was I kid I listened to Metallica too loud and now my hearing has been damaged. Then again, I actually don't listen to all that much music anymore – I sort of prefer it to be played in the background at a pub as opposed to pretty much all day, every day on my mobile phone (like some soundtrack to my life).


The problems that Mr Quiet faces is that he can't communicate with anybody because he doesn't speak loud enough, which means that he can't buy any food and he can't eat. Also, because everybody shouts in Loudland he can't get a job because nobody can hear him. It sort of makes me think not so much of a minority but rather a person with a disability, even if that disability is not being able to speak the native language of the country one is in. The thing with a lot of people can't stand people who can't speak our native language. Well, I have an idea to help one understand their frustrations – do six months of French (assuming you don't know any French) and then go wandering around the back roads of France. Actually, try doing that without knowing any French and you would probably know how Mr Quiet feels. Okay, you can always communicate by pointing, but the thing is that when you go to a foreign country and attempt to communicate with people knowing little, or even nothing, of their native tongue, you will come to appreciate the difficulties foreigners have in communicating with us in our country.


Of course, there are always those who expect everybody to be able to speak English, but that is a different story. Anyway, I better finish this off because I am off to Amiens so I better attempt to squeeze all the junk that I have picked up on the way back into my suitcase.


22 August 2016 - Lille, France



Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1736400912