The doorbell rang at 7.50 this morning, and there at the door was a woman I didn’t recognize.
She said she had come to work, which puzzled me, but I pointed at the number on the door and suggested she had come to the wrong apartment. She didn’t seem convinced, and asked if I needed any work doing. “Not here”, I told her. She asked again, and I told her the same thing. After a few minutes of back and forth, she reluctantly she went away.
Not a particularly Earth-shattering exchange, but it was all in Hindi. Why she should have decided to speak to me in Hindi I’ve no idea — with my blue eyes there’s no way anyone’s ever going to think I’m Indian. Maybe she figured that Hindi would be a better bet than Kannada, if she didn’t speak English.
I’ve been learning Hindi for just over a year now, and I’m constantly frustrated at my lack of speaking skills. Probably because I don’t get enough chance to practice. I can read and write much more comfortably, albeit slowly. But listening and speaking feel more elusive.
But even though this was a bit of a messy exchange, at least I understood what she was saying, and made myself understood back. It felt like a little bit of progress.