It was my first time in America. Oh, I spoke English. In the Philippines, we’re taught to speak and write proper English every single day in school. So, as I walked out of the hotel, I said to myself, “This can’t be worse than my first time in Germany. There, I had to rely on body language to ask for directions to the toilet!” So, armed with a good English vocabulary in my head, I braved my first day in America by purchasing a few items from the nearby grocery and grabbing a bite to eat.
The moment I swung open the door to the store, I was simultaneously greeted by the cashier, the stock clerk, and all the other personnel in the place, with “Hey! Hahyaduin’?!”
Gosh, did they expect me to answer? I was taken by surprise. In Asia, store personnel don’t even look at you when you enter their store! Not knowing exactly how to react, I smiled back, hoping they’d leave me alone. But the store keeper came closer and persisted, “Hah kin ah help ya? Ya luhkin’ fuh an’thin’ in partic’lah?”
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