That story happened when I was 17 I think. It’s about how we, autistics, see communication. I did mention that we don’t really celebrate Halloween in Poland, instead we celebrate what is called All Saints day, when people go to cemeteries to pray and light special ‘cemetery candles’ on family graves. Those candles are called znicze and have special design that makes them look very dramatic while at the same time prevent them from being put out by the wind.
When I was in a secondary school, year three I think, although that’s not really important, a girl from my class told us a story about how her mum handed her 50PLN note and told her to go to the market place (there was no supermarket in town at the time) to buy znicze ‘with this money’. 50PLN was quite a lot at the time and one could buy loads of znicze for that (possibly not so many now) but the girl didn’t question that and just brought two big bags of them. When her mum saw that she gave her a perplexed look and asked what she has done. ‘That’s what you said – explained the girl. – You told me to buy as many znicze as I can afford.’
Apparently that wasn’t what her mum meant and they ended up trying to sell some of them to neighbours. Everyone was laughing at this story and I was probably the only one who didn’t find it funny. It’s possible that I’m the only one who still remembers it now because that was exactly what it meant to me: to spend all the money on znicze. I could not understand how on earth her mum could have meant something different but still use this expression and everyone else was approaching it like if it was a reason for a good laugh.
The girl certainly wasn’t autistic so it shows it’s not just us who’s prone to those type of misunderstandings but it looks like other people move on from them much more easily.