14 February 2023

Knowledge of language is overrated when it comes to having a good conversation

Long, long time back, I worked with a gentleman called Mauricio Flores. I was in Atlanta. He was in El Salvador. Later he moved to Portugal. You may remember him from a post in 2019 November whenI met him while on a vacation with the family in Azores islands and then Lisbon.

He found out that I was in homeland this week. Got an immediate message that his brother was going to drop a local alcohol for my bar!

When I came back to the hotel, his brother and sister in law – Erick and Blanqui – were waiting for me in the lobby.

Now, my Spanish is nothing to write casa about. (Yes, it gets that bad when I sprinkle in one or two words Spanish words I know in an otherwise clear English sentence). And Erick and Blanqui confessed that their English was the same.

Yet we spend one and a half hours together. Over some loud laughs and a great chat. But mostly getting thrilled every time we made a break thru in communicating successfully our message or question. Often resorting to Google for translation, I was able to put the story together of their lives, their siblings, their daughters – Adriana and Daniela, their aspirations, their trips to the US and other countries.

The bar staff who got curious with all the laugh and chat going on often would have fun watching us struggle to find the right word. And then once in a while, they would get so impatient and excited, that they would blurt out the word for us!!!

Blanqui’s sister lives in Knoxville. I will get in touch with her when I get back to the USA. They were excited to realize that I live in Atlanta. Blanqui brought out many pictures from Georgia Aquarium and Coca Cola Factory on her phone from their trips to the USA!!

Like I said, we spent one and a half hours together without realizing that we had absolutely no idea how to construct a full sentence in each other’s language!! It was that good a meeting.

Thank you Mauricio for your gift and most importantly introducing me to two great people!!

Posted February 14, 2023 by Rajib Roy in category "Intersection Points", "Vacations

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