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32. People speaking a foreign language around you

Have you ever been out somewhere and have no idea what people around you are saying?

Almost the same feeling I got while learning differential equations last semester, but not quite. I experience it whenever I go to Chinatown in Los Angeles, or when I’m walking around Little India area around Long Beach.

It goes something like this: You walk into a shop, and people begin talking and talking in another language and you have no idea of what they’re saying. If they’re looking at you while talking and then giggling about something, wanting to know what they’re saying becomes first priority. I was once walking with a couple of friends around Chinatown looking for a hat (don’t ask). We entered a shop and after realizing that the cool hats were a bit too pricey, the shopkeeper started talking to us in mandarin. We didn’t know what to say, and looked at him all confused. We then realized that he was talking to his wife (also in the shop), but looking at us. What the heck were they saying? We will never know.


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  1. ohanabee #

    English is not my first language so I don’t feel awkward when I hear other people speaking a different language. I’m used to it. I’m not paranoid about it, I don’t think they are talking crap about me or doing some gossip.

    May 20, 2011
  2. They probably thought you were going to steal something. 🙂

    Lake Forest, CA USA

    May 31, 2011
    • I guess I do sort of look like a thief.. haha just kidding. I don’t, really.

      June 9, 2011
  3. lee #

    In fact, am a Chinese, if you want to learn Chinese, I would like to teach you, you can contact with me through the email.

    June 8, 2011
    • I DEFINITELY want to learn Chinese!!

      June 9, 2011

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