Excuse me? I put my foot in it too!

 Una de las maneras más fáciles de protagonizar anécdotas divertidas es viviendo en el extranjero. En este artículo encontramos dos historias:

Like many Spaniards, I’ve been studying English for almost all my life. Although I’ve taken English classes all through school and in an academy as well, I’d barely had the chance to have a conversation in English (this is how Spanish education works). This is why I was so excited when I received a MEC grant to study abroad.

My choice was London, a melting pot with a long history and a great variety of leisure activities. However, there was something which took me aback. I had always been told that English people were extremely polite… so when I was first lost looking for the College, I asked a newspaper vendor for help. As I had learned, I started with… «Excuse me, would you mind to telling me how I can…? ». He rudely interrupted me and said «I don’t have time»… «Ok! Thanks» I answered. (He had plenty of time, as he wasn’t doing anything!). From that day on, I started to ask questions like «Camden Town?». Some years later, I can’t deny they are polite… though I didn’t receive a warm welcome.

Another funny anecdote is when one of my new friends was telling me «Your English is terrific», while he was smiling. I thought he was laughing at me… then I got angry: «Excuse me?», «Yeah!» he replied…that was strange… at that point, instead of seeing red, I chose to look up that word in the dictionary… and I realised that he was saying that my spoken English was incredible… just great! So I kindly exclaimed… «Oh, thanks!» 🙂

Despite these anecdotes, it was amazing to be immersed in their culture; above all, because that trip was vital to boost my level.  So I want to finish by saying I’m proud of having put my foot in it!

J.B.M.

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