Usted Habla Inglés Mate?
But the greatest thrill for me is always in coming home. There is something comforting about returning to your native language where you no longer have to quickly translate and sometimes struggle to interpret what the person standing before you is saying.
And I suppose, just as I last experienced, the foreign scents, spicy foods, and exotic music can sometimes be a bit invasive when your body isn’t exactly psyched-up for it.
Finally, when you have made all the necessary psychological and physical adjustments to adapt to all those differences, you begin to feel as if you have a more sure footing. But then, while you’re in that foreign country, your confidence is dashed when you encounter people who purportedly speak the same language as yourself, but with a dialect that is so foreign and so mind numbing that you can’t find a single word they speak in a translation guide or dictionary! And so it is when we embark on travel to foreign lands.
And as I wing my way back from Miami to London, words I can understand, words that I don’t have to translate, words that reflect my heritage gently envelope me, reminding me that I’m almost home:
‘Sir, your choice for dinner tonight is either the chicken tikka masala or the curried lamb, which would you prefer?’