|Blocul nostru (Our Bloc)|
Soția mea rises and all three of us eat a breakfast of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and cheese. That's also not an unusual Romanian lunch.
This evening was supposed to be an annual get-together with soția mea's friend and her husband. I've enjoyed this get together in the past. It's always a valuable experience to speak your foreign languages with multiple people.
You see, everyone has their own little dialect and accent. I've gotten expert at speaking Romanian with soția mea and soacra mea, but the chance to practice with the friend and her husband presents a new linguistic challenge.
But when soția mea called her friend some days ago, she learns, well, the friend and her husband have just separated. And that means, it will be just soția mea and her friend--and me? Awkward. I told soția mea that I should opt out of that dinner because it is very likely they'll better discuss all that's happened without me there.
Is it so obvious that I'm not Romanian? I mean, sure, I have prematurely grey (alright, white) hair. I'm as fair skinned as my Norwegian ancestors. Okay, I get it.
And I made the decision to not answer in Romanian. Of course I could have. But I get more than enough chances to speak Romanian. But these young people, who have undoubtedly worked hard in school to learn English, are excited for the chance to practice their skills as well.
I decided to spend the next couple hours not practicing for myself. I asked people I encountered, "Do you speak English?" They all affirmed. I would find the restroom, buy a pizza, and get a couple of beers. I conducted these exchanges in English, even when the people I encountered were clearly struggling despite their earlier claims. I watched them looking out the corner of their eye, straining to retrieve vocabulary, and so pleased when they succeeded.
I enjoyed this day. I'm heading home now. I'll spend the rest of the evening speaking Romanian with soția mea when she returns from her dinner (with one side of the story) and soacra mea.
Good luck in all your language learning endeavors. Practice often, and enjoy letting others practice as well!