Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Confused, Yet Comfortable

I went to London last week, and fell in love, with the city! It was an amazing trip, and I wasn't ready to leave on Friday.

But it was strange. I arrived in the airport and everything was in English. I bought my train ticket and didn't have to think about how to say "ticket" in Spanish, or "Do you speak English" in another foreign language. I asked for directions without thinking. People spoke to me and I didn't get confused or flustered. I happily responded, excited to completely understand! Except for the fact that after five months in countries where English is not the first language, it was a very odd feeling, to be speaking English.

That being said, there were times I heard people speaking English, but would have sworn it was a foreign language! The accent is so thick it was difficult for me to understand.

Please do not misunderstand me: one of my favorite things about being in Europe is being exposed to so many different languages. As much as my Spanish has improved, I am still far from fluent, and therefore it was just refreshing to hear my native tongue. In fact, we heard Spanish a lot while in London, and each time this happened, Christie and I looked at each other and smiled. And, our second language came in handy when our hostel roommates (4 German guys) were speaking animatedly in German, and laughed, then stopped to ask us if we understood German (which, though I cannot understand sentences, many words are similar to English, so I understood the gist of their conversation, though they did not want us to!). Christie and I then started speaking Spanish to one another, our sort of small revenge!

I will write about my actual London adventures in another post!

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