language moments

I needed to print my Arabic homework this morning.

So I walked into the copy shop down the street and printed my work,

just as I’ve done a considerable amount of times before,

just with other things.

I put my stack on the counter to have a free hand to get my wallet out.

The shop owner saw the script, smiled at me, and offered his help with my work.

I accepted it on the spot,

and we know each others’ names and home countries and a few other details now.

And if that wasn’t revealing enough,

later, in the afternoon,

when I was teaching kids how to bind their own books at the museum,

four little ones from Syria

and a small refugee home outside of this city

flocked around me

just because I’d greeted them

.السلام عليكم

So we chitchatted about this and that

with trying German on their end,

trying Arabic on my end,

and loads of wild hand gestures and giggles and nods on both sides.

It’s a good thing, language;

it’s a mighty good thing!