Speaking the same language as the majority of the people around you. It makes a big difference but it is one of those little things we take lightly. It is so difficult to do many things when you cannot communicate. I had a conversation with a parking lot security guard today. I still don't know what he wanted me to do and he still doesn't know why I wasn't willing to do it. I ordered a corn on the cob at a night market after venturing out without anyone to interpret. I figured it would be fairly simple. I had two choices: white or yellow. I chose yellow and I thought it would be smooth sailing from then on out but I was mistaken. Now, I had to choose which seasoning to have put on and there is not an English word within miles of the stand. I still don't know what I chose and the poor lady still doesn't know why I had such a hard time deciding.
Being able to call your wife from the grocery store when you have a question about an item on the list. Little thing--big difference.
Coupled with that is the ability to read the writing on the items at the grocery store. I picked up something I think is syrup. We will determine at a later date what it actually is. Little thing but it matters much.
The ability to read the street signs. I get lost easy as it is, if I can't even read the signs it adds a new dimension to trying to find my way around. The van broke down and I couldn't even give cross street names. It was something like a pie sign walking a dog in an upside down house and a man in a boat fishing for an upside down 7 with arms. Little thing that makes a huge difference.
Having napkins at your disposal, say, in a convenient store like a 7-11. Little thing that is missed a lot when not available. For instance if a guy were to overfill a slurpee cup and not catch the explosion of icee coke from the lid he may need more than the one napkin awarded to him after purchasing said slurpee.
Having a designated area for showering/bathing in the bathroom. Without one many things get wet that you don't want wet. And the floor gets deathly dangerous because it immediately turns into what seems to be a sheet of black ice just waiting for you to take a misstep sending you into a death slide. Little thing--big difference.
Last but certainly not least. Your child looking you in the eyes and smiling big because they know you and know you love them instead of crying because they have no clue who you are. Little thing--unparalleled difference.
----written by Jason---
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