6 questions NOT to ask your ski instructor
I can still remember the look on my ski instructor's face when I asked him in my best French whether he was a national mounting champion. It turns out that I missed that all important ‘i' which distinguishes ‘moniteur' from ‘monteur'. Another Bridget Jones moment in the bag.
The trouble is there's a good ten minutes or so to fill when you're trapped in a ski lift to the top of the mountain and most of us find ourselves defaulting to the same old questions. So in Family Fortunes style, here are the top 6 answers ski instructors give when asked: which groan inducing questions do your clients most frequently ask you on the mountain (aside from the obvious technical ones)
1. What do you do in summer?
You can almost hear the buzzing ‘top answer'. Admit it – you have asked your ski instructor this question! And the answer is usually so disappointing… plumber, decorator etc. If I were them I'd be having a field day…. Stunt man, Wing suiter or perhaps the swooning alternative: ‘I help children and animals'.
2. Are you married?
This one's always awkward as it feels like a pick up line. Once it might have been, but now it's usually a desperate attempt at finding some common ground and a new topic of conversation. Awkward silence again when there's a flat ‘no'.
[Please acknowledge reader that in all my days of ski instruction, I haven't been privileged enough to be taught by a woman]
3. How long have you been a ski instructor?
Yawn….inevitably leading onto ‘You have such an amazing job. You're so lucky!' “Yes I am thanks…” (under breath…. “if it weren't for the inane questions I have to suffer” J)
4. Did you have to do that speed test thingy to pass?
The test of legends. We just can't help asking about it. Is it really that steep? Do you really go that fast? What was it like? The truth is we knew after the first time we asked that everybody (in France at least) has to do it to qualify so why do we keep on asking?!
5. What do you think about the ban on British ski guides in France?
The chances are you're not that enamoured of your ski guide so far if you ask this one. An awkward silence would be perfect thanks very much. Or you really are struggling for conversation at this point. Either way this one is, more often than not, met with a little seat shuffling.
6. How do you ski like that?
Finally one that is more of an ego stroking time filler than anything else. That – and the sheer incredulity at the bendiness of his / her legs! Honestly, how do they ski like that? I'll never know!
So there we have it. Is your ski instruction lined up yet? We have some great partners like Oxygene, ESF and iSki if you haven't. And if nothing else, perhaps you could make it your challenge to find the 7th question not to ask your ski instructor that they haven't been asked before…… Weather anyone?