I was sitting here reading blogs with the doors and windows open and I heard this very loud talking in a foreign language. Pepper the dog was barking and I thought what the hell is this? So I wandered over to the front door, and saw that the guy who lives across the street (I hear he's Russian; he's been living there 5 years and I've been planning on introducing myself for 5 years now) had stopped his car in the drive and went to get his mail, while the radio loudly buzzed out in Russian. I didn't even know you could get Russian radio stations.
It reminded me of my first year of college. I went to college in Toronto. My roommate lived in Ontario but was of Dutch descent, and they spoke Dutch in her home. So she always had the radio tuned to Dutch stations (I guess it's no different than the Russian station this guy was listening to). Every morning we would wake up to her radio alarm, with people speaking in Dutch.
Which reminds me of a party I went to last week. The hosts gave a party for their friend Wanda, also from Holland, who has been living here for many years. Wanda has a best friend, Wilma, who is visiting her for about a month this summer. So it was kind of a "meet Wilma" party. I talked to Wanda and Wilma and asked them how often they see each other. They said one will visit the other every 3-5 years. I asked how they keep in touch between visits and they said some email but they call each other every week. They said they just liked to hear each other's voices. Wanda has been living in the states for about 18 years, I'd guess, and Wilma was her best friend in Holland, and they remain best friends. They seemed to enjoy each other very much. They would be conversing in English and then they would just switch to Dutch, and as I sat there listening, I wondered "do they realize they just switched languages?"
Which reminded me of a French class I took in college. I had taken Spanish all through high school. But since the products in Ontario were labeled in both French and English, I decided I should try French. So what we had was a freshman class of kids who had all taken Spanish in high school. And the first day, the French professor told us there would be no speaking in English. None. So as we struggled along to have conversations, if we didn't know a French word, we automatically used the Spanish word, and we all understood each other cause we had all taken Spanish, and the French teacher spent the year yelling "NO ESPANOL!" The funny thing is that none of us realized we were doing it.
I really marvel at people who speak more than one language.