Out of play

By Published On: May 16, 2005Categories: Language0 Comments on Out of play

Amongst my friends, I am not known for my quick reactions. Even a simple question like "Would you like a cup of tea" has a surprisingly delayed response (well to my friends anyway).

It has earned me years of jokes at my expense, including the presentation of a plastic replica of the cartoon dog Pluto on my 21st birthday (because I am on another planet, geddit?!)

So playing a card game which required me to slap my hand down whenever I saw a matching card was never going to be my forte. I invariably was the last hand on a pile, several seconds after everyone else.

Unfortunately the sensation seemed to match the whole evening.

I was out with a group of Liliana’s friends for some drinks, chat and games, and had been looking forward to the chance to fit myself in further with life and friendships here.

Liliana is one of my teachers, who I clicked with at our first lesson. With her, Spanish hasn’t seemed such an obstacle, as I felt at ease to chat with her about anything that came into my head.

But suddenly that all seemed irrelevant, as I scrambled to catch meanings as conversations raced past me. Jokes went over my head. Words crammed my brain. My tongue fell silent as I tried to keep up.

I suddenly realised how far I still have to go to communicate, to fit in with life and make friends. And as the night went on, my silence weighed down on me, pushing me further out of play.

I was amongst a hubbub of chatter and laughter, which reminded me of nights out with friends in London, but I suddenly felt lonely.


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