28/01/2010 by etiennefish
One night, after a long day’s work, I arrived back at my foyer, wanting only to crawl into bed with a book and a hot cup of tea. I went to the kitchen, 6/7 floors down from my room, made my tea and stared in dismay at the dauntingly large amounts of steps leading back to my room and the relative comforts and security of a pile of blankets. Two North African guys noticed my reticence and held the doors to the lift open for me so that I could join them. We all said quick hellos in French and the pair went back to whatever conversation they had been having. I quickly retreated to the realm of daydreams, spurred on by the enticing aroma of my herbal tea, and paid absolutely no attention to the world around me. Suddenly, I noticed that the conversation had stopped and both of my tiny compartment-mates were staring at me. Finally one asked/stated to me in English, ‘you don’t speak French do you?’ I was a little bit taken aback and slightly offended. So I replied in French (and a bit haughtily), that I in fact understood French quite well, but my speaking ability still left something to be desired (I should note here, that I stated this a tad less eloquently in French…). The guy gave me a weird look, and said, again in English, ‘Okay, well my friend was just telling you to be careful and not burn yourself on your tea.’ With that, the bell chimed, the doors opened, and my two companions said quick goodbyes (in French) and left me alone, feeling moderately ridiculous and slightly embarrassed to go up the final few floors to my room…. Sigh, sometimes I semi-hate myself.