Sunday, July 08, 2012

Watch What You Say

My roommate and I were walking home the other day when we took notice of the cute outfit the women in front of us was wearing.  We started walking faster in hopes of over taking her.  Soon we were casting a causal glace over our shoulder looking to see what the front of her dress looked like.  “Oh,” my roommate said “not nearly as cute from the front.”  “Yeah,” I agreed, “the sash of lace down the front really ruins the look”.
That’s when it hit us… we were having this less than complementary conversation about her outfit right in front of her.  I am so use to the fact that most people around here don’t speak English, it’s like our own secrete language,  that I have gotten in to the habit of not biting tongue or holding in the unneeded commentary on those around me.  Even though we spent the rest of our walk home not only acknowledging and scolding ourselves for this problem,  I found myself falling back into the same unhealthy pattern again today.

There I was on the bus talking to another expat friend about how painful one woman’s feet looked squished into her high heeled shoes.  We couldn’t help but feel sorry for her poor toes that had to be screaming regret over her footwear choice.  In the real world you can’t have open conversations like this about people right in front of them.  It’s rude and I totally realize that because Uyghur people do it to me all the time.  They figure I’m the dumb foreigner and can’t understand a word of what they are saying.  I never appreciate overhearing these have inappropriate comments directed towards me and some day if I can't learn to hold my tongue I am going to equally hurt one exceptional English student by speaking so freely. 

1 comment:

Beth said...

I rarely know what people are saying around me, but this did happen to me once when two deaf women saw my hearing aids and then began to have a spirited sign language conversation among themselves about whether or not I was culturally Deaf. I found it quite amusing and eventually broke in to clarify things about myself.