I’m about to go around the world and my level of English is quite low. What to do then?
A nice ride in London!
A dear friend lives it, Alessio, so it seemed to me an excellent excuse to visit him, as well as a good way to start communicating in this language, in the context of the trip.
The plan was to reach Bergamo by train, go to the airport and from there fly to England, Alessio would have reached me near his house after work, I would have found all the information and help needed from time to time.
As I got off the train in the Bergamo station, this very nice guy from Casablanca offered to take me on a bus to Orio al Serio airport. I have collected a short audio testimony and also remedied a useful Moroccan contact for the near future.
Landed at Stansted the crew began to interact with me to understand what were my needs, after a brief exchange of jokes must have realized that my command of English would not take me very far … but I managed to explain where I had to arrive, or rather, I showed the address of my friend’s house.
After a few moments accompanied by an incomprehensible set of instructions, I was handed a piece of paper accompanied by the sentence:
“Show it to the people and you will be helped”.
That leaflet contained all the indications that would take me to my destination, taking trains, buses and the subway. I did not actually consider that London is slightly larger and more structured than Verona.
However it worked, dozens of people have followed in this relay so useful as not very communicating … a bit ‘at a time, almost without realizing it, new words became part of my vocabulary and a few hours later, covered the last stretched by public transport, a girl has stolen me from the attention of a young man in charge of the safety of the meter telling him:
“Leave it to me, I’ll take care of it”
In my turn, I smiled at the boy who seemed a little undecided about what to do:
“He said that she thinks …”
So here I am walking under the arm of a young local girl, who had noticed me and decided to give me a hand, here I am talking with her, with different difficulties, of course, but was still interacting … fantastic!
Felicity told me that she was originally from Manchester and that she was studying in London, her home was very close to that of Alessio.
By the way, he would have freed himself after 10 o’clock, and my new friend and I went to a nearby brewery to wait for him.
In the following days I did not actually practice much English, almost always staying with Alessio, despite this I took the first step in the right direction. The most important thing that I understood, in fact, is that the smiles and enthusiasm attract the people I need, people of all kinds, but with the intention of wanting to help me.