Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Unasked Question

     One of the reasons I moved to Belize was because it is an English speaking country. There's English and then there is English. After many years here, you would think I would understand that and also the importance of:  "the unasked question."

     I'm a slow learner. For instance I wear contact lenses.  Using my last drop of lens solution one morning, I realized I had not planned ahead and stocked up the last time I was in Belize City or the USA.  Knowing exactly where to get the solution I needed, I called the store in Belize City and spoke to a clerk.

     Hello, I'm looking for contact lens solution. Do you still carry any?

no translation needed

     Yes, we do.

     Do you carry brand XXX?

     Yes, Ma'am we do.

     Excellent I said and hopped on a water taxi with a short list of other important items to buy in "the city". 

     I forgot to ask: do you have any in stock?  Of course, they didn't.  

     I've learned to listen for the tiny pauses which indicate that the person on the other end of the conversation is ready and patiently waiting for me to ask the important question in English. 

     Sometimes I forget and sometimes I think I'm speaking another language.