I’ve grown up in a multilingual environment. When i was able to remember and had an awareness of my surrounding, i have been able to talk mainly in Bahasa Indonesia, partly in Javanese, and very little of English. At later stage of my life, i picked up other languages which then help me with my travelling though i am not very good with them.
There are some events regarding ‘foreign’ languages that still very clear for me. For example, I was around 4 years old when i panicked over the phone not knowing how to answer in English properly. I was around 8 years old when people talk in Javanese about how i am not able to communicate in Javanese in front of me. I still remember how uneasy i was since i played dumb at that time. Give me a break, will you? i was still a kid anyway. 😛
However, it doesn’t stop there. The usual case for me now was when i called online taxi. It has happened many times till i give up somehow. The usual conversation would be :
Me (M) : Where are you?
Driver (D) :I am at the pick up point
M: I am at the pick up point. Where are you?
…couple of times later after repetitive and a never ending loop of where are you questions.. we Finally find each other…
D : … ( awkward silence then starting to giggle / laugh )
M : ( thinking to myself what’s wrong)
D: Sorry, but i thought you are a foreigner. I have passed by the place but i was looking for a Causcasian or an American.
M : Well, i am not local.
D : …. ( another awkward silence ) You are not Malay?
M : No, i am not.
And then the conversation will continue on how curious they are on me and my accent. Somehow, they need to be reassured that i spent most of my years in Indonesia and not abroad. 😐
There are couple of others stories but let me stop here for now as actually i just want to write this thing without any proper outline yet. LOL.
Wish you were there so that we could be awkward together!