ANOTHER LANGUAGE, ANOTHER CHILDHOOD (…under some circumcisions)

27 May 2015

A young and academically educated woman gets on plane to fly more than 27 hours across the oceans to live with her sister in Australia.  Lack of knowledge in English, cultural shock, poor choices of words and desperate efforts to look and sound as sophisticated as she use to be back in her small European country take her to a great journey of learning the language and the new life – just like going through another childhood, …under some circumcision circumstances…

“Excuse me please,” those were the only words I could remember in English.  The flight hostess and the rest of the passengers seemed oblivious to my cry for help to find the sick bag.  Maybe I was too far – at the back of the plane, stuck between the plane window and some surfer.
“I need a seat next to the window,” I demanded from the travel agent few months back.  “I get sick.  I’ll take the trip better if I’m next to the window – I can see the road.”  Was it my demand or the explanation that follow, the agent rolled her eyes and gave me a window seat.
Actually, I had more English words in my pockets, but I couldn’t find them.  My sister, she knew my stomach will churn during the endless flight from Europe to Australia and wrote in transliteration how to ask for help.  Damn it – it’s not in the jacket!  Not in the jeans, not in the handbag...  Ah, there you are – together with the “Validol” tablets.  Those I take just in case I suffer from something.  Panic attack, inflamed tonsils, constipation…  A-NY-THING can happen to me when we are up in the skies.  Now, what I was supposed to say to the hostess before I scatter my guts around?  Aha, here it was: “I feel dizzy”.
And just to be in harmony with my sick stomach, the skies turned turbulent.  Lashing rain was whipping the window.  Only when lightning flashed, I could see the blizzard pelting.  We were flying in the middle of a tropical storm.  Oh my!  Oh dear!  I’ll call the hostess!  What was I telling her?  “I feel dizzy”.  Right!  Can’t forget it!
“Are you done with yours?” asked my neighbour pointing at my meal, still untouched on the tray.  He was chewing some salted peanuts like a cud.  I didn’t think I can take the smell of crunched peanuts, greasy dreads sticking from his beanie, the tang of rubber thongs and… ah, wait a moment – was he wearing shorts?  I tossed my tray into his lap and jumped from my seat to call the uncatchable hostess.  The storm, thundering in rhythm with the thumping rain, drowned my words.  The droning and the rocking of the plane were like if I was sitting on the top of a spinning washing machine…
“You’ve been calling?” somebody from behind reproached.
“Oh,” I sighed with relief to see the hostess.
“Excuse me,” I recited with the last yellow-white colour left on my face searching in my mind for the memorised words, “I feel busy!”…

Come fly with me again,

© 2015 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved

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