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Beginning at Speaking Up

43 views. 2023-9-13 22:55 | beginning, English

The pivotal moment in which I found myself conversing with a foreigner unfolded during a luncheon I had been tasked with hosting for some esteemed clients. At the outset, I was blissfully unaware of the impending linguistic challenge that lay before me. 

However, destiny had other plans, and soon I found myself seated at a table enveloped in an atmosphere of cozy anticipation, a blend of warmth and restrained formality that was befitting a business luncheon. I was flanked by my ever-watchful manager, whose presence exuded a gentle yet vigilant demeanor, like a seasoned guide navigating the delicate balance between professionalism and approachability. To my side sat two intriguing companions, esteemed clients who, despite the business agenda, radiated an aura of comfort and congeniality, as if we were old friends meeting for an enjoyable meal.

Among them was a gentleman in his fifties, a reservoir of life experiences etched into the lines of his countenance, and another, perhaps in his forties, possessed of captivating azure eyes and hair as golden as the sun, towering gracefully above the rest of us. As tradition dictates, a meal is not meant to be a silent affair, especially when it serves as a crucial backdrop to business dealings. Thus, I rallied my spirits, raised my glass in a convivial toast, and revved the engine on my journey into the art of conversation.

Inevitably, I found myself compelled to contribute to the discourse. The words that flowed from my lips were simple, yet earnest, and I summoned my limited pool of English to extend a warm greeting to the foreigner in our midst. As the meal progressed, I felt the walls of apprehension crumble, and I realized that the key to successful communication transcended mere pronunciation and vocabulary. It lay in the simplicity of genuine interaction, the exchange of ideas and emotions.

After bidding our clients farewell at the restaurant's doorstep, a wave of nostalgia washed over me. I reflected upon how, after graduating, I had allowed my linguistic skills to languish in dormancy, untapped and neglected. The campus life had provided me with a unique opportunity to be mentored by an American teacher, who ignited the spark of confidence in my ability to converse, despite my novice status. Back then, I may have lacked the refined accent and flawless fluency, and my lexicon was bereft of the finesse of proper expressions. Nevertheless, I reveled in the sheer joy of conversing.

This cherished memory now beckoned me forward, reminding me that persistence and unwavering dedication to one's passion can yield remarkable results. I harbored the belief that as long as I continued to nurture my linguistic interests and invest my time and effort into them, I could aspire to achieve great heights. And so, my voyage into the sphere of language and communication continued, fueled by the memory of that fateful dinner and the promise of more enriching conversations yet to come.

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