Home Depot Language Exchange

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nopaint

Mom’s a kitchen designer at Lowe’s. Sorry, Mom, I have been hanging out at Home Depot.

Every Wednesday afternoon, I head to the Home Depot parking lot for an hour of standing around with the people there who are waiting to be approached with offers of odd jobs.

I approached them a few weeks back to see if they would do an intercambio with me — the first half hour in English, the next in Spanish.

The other day, a conversation I had with a man named Daniel highlighted some of the challenges I face in this experiment. Primarily, he was willing to ask any question I tossed at him, but he blushed at the suggestion that he ask me some questions about my life. Some of this discomfort was that, in English, he was used to answering questions but not asking them. Even more he felt uncomfortable interrogating a strange woman.

I am wondering how long it will take before I am no longer strange (this has been a question my whole life).

Daniel complained at one point that I was speaking English too swiftly. I was actually not even on my medium speed. When it came time for me to practice Spanish, he definitely picked up the pace of the conversation. I thought about braking a bit, but I enjoyed the challenge. He asked me to reflect on Obama’s presidency. When I explained that history will answer this for us, he pushed me to make an evaluation today. He is a different person is Spanish.

nopaint2

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