If there could be one thing I’m envious of hearing people, other than being able to talk on phone and enjoy music, it’s to eavesdrop other people’s conversations. Like when I’m in the airport, waiting for my flight in a hub, I get curious what they are saying. Or at a bookstore and I’d pretend I’m reading a book but actually eavesdropping someone’s conversation. I suspect this is how hearing people become well-versed in English while we deaf people have to rely on a lot of reading to catch up.
Today, I went to Barnes and Noble bookstore to use up my giftcard someone gave me for my birthday. I bought this book titled “Neither here and there.” by Bill Bryson, about his travel experience in Europe. Wow, I really want to go to Europe so badly. Bill Byson is definitely my favorite author; something about his writing that totally captivates me and how much I can relate to his thoughts. As I was reading, I froze upon this paragraph and made me wonder that perhaps it’s not so bad I cannot eavesdrop people’s conversations.
“When I told friends in London that I was going to travel around Europe and write a book about it, they said, “Oh, you must speak a lot of languages.”
“Why, no,” I would reply with a certain pride, “only English,” and they would look at me as if I were foolish or crazy. But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
Except mine is a lifetime on a series of interesting guesses. :-)