Just because I am here and go to all sorts of functions, I am continually being paid compliments,along the lines of `` It is an honour for us to have you here``. I invariably reply it is an honour to be here, but sometimes more is needed. Then I roll out the phrase `` we are all people here together in friendship and amity``, the emphasis being on the fact that we are all just people, whether a minister or teacher or mayor or president..
At the wedding, as I was being introduced to various people, the stock phrases were being trotted out, and I was finally introduced to a middle aged man with a wonderful mustache and dark yet piercing eyes. He was the local King of the Gypsys, whose word in his own community was law.
Now gypsys in Romania are very much second class citizens, although they generally work very hard and have an intelligence and guile beyond many of the Romanian locals. His compliment was slightly different.
`` it is an honour to have one of elevated rank amongst we poor people``
I was somewhat taken aback but replied `` We are all just people``
He look astonished then smiled.
`` We will be friends. Too few realise the truth of your words``