Strangers in our own land

Have you ever been a tourist in a foreign country? One where they don’t speak English and where you don’t speak the native language?

Did you feel a little stress?

Many people could not understand what you were saying, and you couldn’t understand what they were saying. That’s confusing and it makes life difficult. Even if you’re in a country where a lot of people do speak English. But you at least had some reassurances – you knew you were going home some time. And, even if no one spoke a language you understood, they at least spoke a language. That is, they used words, the words combined into sentences, and so on. And, even if no one understood you, they at least understood that they didn’t understand you, and they knew why – you didn’t speak their language. In any country where you are likely to be a tourist, people will understand that some people speak different languages.

And you might have learned some phrases prior to your travels. Your accent might be awful, but you could probably make yourself understood.

And, if you were not a tourist but an immigrant, you would make some effort (I hope) to learn that language.

But it would go beyond verbal language – there would be all sorts of gestures that you would not recognize, or, worse, would misinterpret. What means “A-OK” in one culture means something very rude indeed in another. And you wouldn’t know.

We learning disabled people, in particular those of us with NLD (nonverbal learning disability) are like that. We don’t get it. But we’re never going home. And we can’t learn the language. We’re strangers in our own lands. And there are no tour guides.

Comments

  1. Indeed true.

    Although I do hold out some faint hope that the people of my planet may show up to rescue me one happy day. :)

  2. I want “Stranger in a Strange Land ” by Leon Russell played at my funeral!

    The last paragraph is kind of sad, but brilliant.

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