I’m Stampy the Horse…give me some sugar

“It’s gotten to the point where I feel awkward if someone tries to speak to me in English. I’d almost rather they say nothing at all.”

Her head nods as if she’s agreeing with me, but her eyes tell me she doesn’t really understand. Not because of any language barrier, but because what I’m saying is completely asinine.

“I guess I’m just used to convenience store clerks who run my checkout, point to the cash register instead of saying anything, and then take my money. We hardly even say a word.”

The reason I felt compelled to complain about the store clerk at the coffee shop asking me if I “needed anything else,” is still lost on me. Maybe I was just looking for something to talk about?

Almost on cue, the waiter at our restaurant came up to take our order. Rachel handed me the menu, expecting me to order. I pointed at the items we had chosen and kind of mumbled them, afraid any discernible pronunciation would just confuse him. Pointing has worked thus far.

The waiter then asked me a few questions, in Korean. I responded to him the same way I’ve responded to most everybody in my life who I’m not really paying attention to, I read their tone of voice and respond during the sentence breakages with either a “yes/Nae” or “no/anio.” I’m not entirely sure what I agreed to, but the waiter seemed pleased with my responses and walked away.

I turned to her. See, minimal communication. I can get by.

“I heard about a horse one time, whose farmer thought it could count. They tested the horse by giving it a number. The horse would then stomp it’s feet. If they said seven, the people around the horse would count until it stomped it’s feet seven times.”

I said “yes” because her tone of voice indicated that I should.

“But you know how when the horse would reach seven then maybe the crowd or people around it would react by clapping? I think that gave the horse a signal to stop stomping it’s feet.”

“Are you comparing me to a horse that stomps it’s feet?” I asked.

I might be the Native English Teacher, but sometimes I think she makes much more sense than I do.

A stomping horse is still kind of smart though? Right?

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Filed under Narratives, The foreigner experience

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