Sometimes I can talk to people

24 September 2005
7:13 AM

As I was walking home the other day, I was stopped by a small boy sitting on the sidewalk in front of a closed gate. Our conversation went something like this (translated from Spanish):

BOY. Can you ring the bell for me?
ME. Sure.
BOY. Thank you.
ME. Don’t mention it.

Of course, that’s nothing particurly remarkable in English. But let’s consider the same situation circa three weeks ago:

BOY. Can you ring the bell for me?
ME. What?
BOY. The bell. Can you ring it for me?
ME. I don’t speak Spanish.
BOY. (pointing) The bell, please.
ME. I don’t have any money. I don’t want to buy anything.
BOY. (confused)
ME. (runs)

While the latter is more comical, I’m kind of striving to make the former more of the norm.