Ever get into a conversation where neither of you knew what the other was talking about?
As dirty a place as the city is, I love it. There are all kinds of different people around you. People from all over the world.
My neighbor across the street, for example, is off the boat from China. He is the oddest character I've ever seen. he paints his concrete steps all different colours multiple times a year. He pees into a bucket outside and uses it to water his plants. (He grows the best vegetable garden I've even see, so he must know what he's doing). He'll paint sections of his house, but never the whole thing, so it always looks patchy.
And he doesn't speak a word of english. Well, not enough to put together half a sentence.
I was playing my ukulele outside today, and He come rolling up to his house, like normal, with a shopping cart and random stuff in it. Today it was an old TV. I've talked to him before, which usually consists of him speaking Chinese (not sure what dialect), and broken english. I think the only thing he knows how to say is "#1", "ok", and a few state names.
So he walked up to me and "asked" to play my uke. He proceeded to strum it and randomly sing his do-re-me's. This wasn't the first time we've done this. But something odd happened today...
We got talking about politics. Nothing in depth. But he started telling my all of the places he has been in the US, including LA, Jersey, New York, Virginia, and somewhere in the middle, I think Arkansas. He then started to talk to me about Mao Zedong. It really only consisted of him saying "bad man". But none the less, I managed to get into a conversation with someone about politics when neither of us knew what the other was saying. It was uncanny.
I helped him drag the TV into his house, and he gave me some unsweetened green tea. It was a bit rancid, but green tea without sugar is pretty bitter. And some strange dried fruits that were pretty good. I have no idea what they are or how to ask. They weren't sweet like most dry fruit, but good nonetheless.
Anyway... I was wondering if anyone else out there has ever just sat and talk to someone who doesn't speak your language for a while? It's worth doing. Never be discouraged or impatient with someone because they don't understand you, or you them. I'm sure this guy could instantly tell I had no idea what he was saying, but it didn't stop him from rambling on and on like we'd been friends for years.