Friday, December 01, 2006

In The Absence Of A Common Language

Recently returned from a late lunch at my favourite neighbourhood Chinese restaurant.
I was writing in my journal...after my meal...when the head of the family who own
and run the restaurant...a tiny likeable man...came over to my table and engaged me
in conversation. He was trying to convey a question he had in mind about existence...
and he kept using a word that sounded like "doh"...something about those who work hard and those who don't. Although he and his family are extremely hard working...I don't think he was trying to condemn anyone...he was just trying to get some feed back on a life question for him. Perhaps...because we had chatted before...and he had seen me scribbling in my journal many a time...he thought I might have an opinion on what he was trying to tell me. Sadly...because his grasp of English is limited...and mine of Chinese is nil...I never quite got what his life question was. I tried to make up for that by showing him I had empathy with him. I hope that helped. It must be very hard for people who do not really speak the language of the society they live communicate their deeper and more complex thoughts and feelings. My hope is that although our verbal communication didn't work well...that when we parted he at least knew ...that "I was with him"....................Quester.


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