When in Rome Speak What?
Finally, during the last weeks of my stay, I realized what I had missed the most, and that distilled yearning became an obsession to hear the sound of a wholesome female voice speaking unbroken English.
A dreamy face never turned up at any point during this melodic fantasy, nor did sweet lips to kiss. Long hair to stroke nor perfume to enjoy not once entered the picture; only the accustomed words of some American woman that I longed to hear.
Not long ago I stood in line to pay for gas. Ahead of me, two younger men spoke as friends in some rapid-fire and foreign tongue. We stood waiting while a lady at the front of the line studied the various lottery tickets available. That took awhile.
She left, and one of the young men laid out an assortment of snacks on the counter, along with a large bill. The dark-skinned gentleman manning the register then turned to him and said firmly, but with a strong accent,
“When in pob-lic, you mahs speak only in Eengliss. E-tease rude not to.”
I silently applauded the elder man’s boldness for speaking what I honestly thought, but would never say.