October 29, 2015

Today my school celebrated Halloween. I went into it with the notion that I would not be able to get anything useful accomplished. I planned fun activities with the classes I was going to see. I was surprised to see Juan today. The new guy had someone ask us about the trains in Spanish. I was happy that I was able to understand him. However, once he and Juan started talking about other things, I couldn’t understand much other than an odd word here and there. They spoke too quickly and I still need a bit of extra time for contemplation and translation in my head. This new guy just moved here. I never caught his name, but it was clear he didn’t speak any English. He said that our money here is worth about ten times what it’s worth in his home country. I couldn’t imagine moving so far and to a place where I didn’t speak the language for money. Maybe it’s just because my circumstances are not desperate enough. I can’t say what he’s been through, but it takes a lot of guts to make a move like that. He looked to be in his late teens or early 20s.

I suppose I just didn’t understand Juan completely when he called yesterday because he was on the train in the afternoon today too. It’s understandable, since I was so surprised to hear from him that I could understand him worse than usual. It was nice to see and talk to him. He sat in the seat next to me again.  This seems to be our new norm.  I didn’t complain.

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