People of Boston: Part 8

On most days of the week I help save the world….one (awkward) conversation at a time. On Thursday I was on Newbury Street, through which I’ve only been driven in the past.

“Miss are you friendly?” “Nope” “Oh, well why not?” “Because I’m Scottish, that’s why.” (in a thick Scottish accent).

It occurs to me that the Scots have the most beautiful English accent I’ve heard, so far as I remember.

“Hi” “Hi!” “I’m John” “I’m [Sarah]” “Cool I…[basic job information]” “Ok” “Who are you?” “Uh…” “I mean…” “What?” “So, what we’re doing is…[explain what I’m doing]…what’s that?” “This?” “Yeah” “It’s my tattoo.” “What is it?” “Um, it’s Hebrew, it means good.” “I see.” “I’m not Jewish though.” “Oh. Why not?” “What?” “Anyway, what we want is….”

Many Francophones that day. Only a few Spanish speakers. Only a single German, and I think one Italian. A few Slavic-languages I think, but I can’t be sure. I was actually able to understand a man as he walked by me and told me in Russian: “I understand little English” and replied, “ah, from Russia!” to which he nodded. It felt good. And of course about a hundred or so Chinese.

Today I was in Kenmore, and I happened across a man in his (I would guess) mid 70’s with a shirt that read “Dubai” among other things. I stopped him and talked to him for at least 10 minutes, during which he told me about how he began teaching English in Europe after graduating from college, and then went back to get his master’s at Columbia University, and then went around the world teaching and later becoming an administrator at a university in the UAE, and then finally in Dubai. “And now I’m old!” was the end of his tale. I never did ask him for his name. He said he grew up in Boston, and that he’s only here for “a couple days.”

The day began with light rain, and after lunch the clouds went back to their hiding spot.

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