What was once just a small annoyance is slowly turning into a little bit of resentment, and a very bad taste in my mouth.
I’m tired, here.
Just 5 minute ago, I was on the bus and a women asked me a question about the next stop. I didn’t hear her, and she was talking too fast. I asked her “what?” to clarify what she had said. Having then seen my face and realizing I’m probably not Spanish, she instead turns to another woman about 2 feet away and asks her the same question, dismissing my attempt to understand and help. It certainly wasn’t her intention to make me feel like shit, but thats how I felt. I’m just very VERY over it… when people assume that I don’t speak Spanish, just because I didn’t hear what they said. I’m living here, aren’t I? I’m trying.
I’ve been here for about 4 months, and still, when someone speaks to me in Spanish in the street, I don’t quite understand them, or ask them to repeat themselves. And they all respond with the same thing.
*Sí, hablo español.*
Pero… what do I say?
“Sí, un poco. Estoy aprendiendo.”
Yes, a little. I am learning.
I am not learning. I know spanish. That’s a joke. A cushion, a fall back answer. To protect myself from feeling stupid. From feeling small.
I already DON’T have confidence speaking, and you people are going to laugh at me and criticize me? Again, I’m trying; doesn’t that mean anything?
I’m just so…. frustrated. Appropriately, this is the time in the natural “culture shock curve” when you are SUPPOSED to feel like this. So I have no reason to feel ashamed. Months 4-5 look like they’re a bit tough, and at month 6, you feel “at home.” Well I sure am missing the comforts of home, missing my family and my boyfriend… but most of all, I miss being UNDERSTOOD.