Wednesday, 25 May 2011


I know Canada is a very diverse, multicultural country and that is one of the many things I love about it.  I mean if it wasn't I feel like I would be missing out on so much.  Food, people, traditions 
etc. they're all fantastic in their own way.  

So, in amongst all this multiculturalism do you ever feel like you the tune "one of these things just doesn't belong here" is playing in your head?  I know I sure have and this morning’s commute was one of those moments.

I may have been a little lethargic (it was the morning commute after all) but I really felt like an outsider.  Someone that was plucked out of my predominantly English speaking country and dropped right smack in the middle of another, and another, and then for good measure, one more.

I got on my usual car (as mentioned previously, I'm a creature of habit).  It was a little empty today but I thought nothing of it.  There were some familiar faces and there were some new ones. The first set I noticed was a couple of sisters.  Excited to see each other they discussed the goings on of their lives quite loudly.  Also on the train was another group of 4 that must meet up on the regular.  They chatted about this that and the other, but nothing out of the ordinary.  

At this point everyone is speaking English and loudly.  We pull into the next station and as you would expect, more passengers got on.  In particular a couple, as you also may expect, they were talk loudly.  The difference between them and the others was they were speaking either Mandarin or Cantonese.  For some unknown reason after the other chatty folks realised there was a competing language being used, they decided to change it up.

I felt like I was in a twilight zone (queue Twilight Zone - 2 Unlimited).  The sisters are now speaking to one another in Italian (I think) and the group of commuter buddies is now speaking an Eastern European language (I want to say Polish but I really don't have a clue).  That’s 3 conversations in 3 different languages and none of them are in English.  I feel a little left out.  

I guess what I can take from this experience is that I need to beef up my language abilities.  I have English down pat and a little bit of ASL but I should really work on expanding.  Anyone want to learn a new language with me?

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