On Friday there was an Open Mic night at Second Wind Cafè. I’d never been there before, and I don’t drink coffee, but the Italian soda was very good.
Open Mic was an invitation to those who have studied abroad or those who are originally from the area to come and share stories about their experiences. There were many of the people I heard were international students rather than those who had studied abroad, and all the experiences were interesting.
There was one story in particular I found fascinating, about being abroad and meeting someone not from the US who was also traveling in that country. It just so happened that the storyteller spoke many of the same languages as the other person did, including the home language, and that other person was so excited! There’s a saying that when you speak with someone in their second language, it goes to their head, but their first language goes to their heart.
I’m still working on that second-language thing, but I try to imagine where this is coming from. I could see myself all alone in Italy, trying to muddle through with my limited Italian, when suddenly someone comes up to me and starts speaking English. What a relief! I mean, English is very widespread and I’m sure I’d be able to find at least one person who speaks it. I suppose this is another luxury that I was born with as an American.