Just in case you weren’t sure, I speak English. Fluently.
I was born in Sydney. I’ve lived in Australia my whole life. So yes, I understand everything you say in English.
But there are still people who assume that I don’t speak or understand the language. And I can only describe the feeling I get as a strange mix of disgust and humour.
I was at Woolies yesterday and all I wanted were some tampons. I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the purchase. I was tired and I was in pain. But they were on sale so that made me feel a little better.
There were two women standing in front of the section and I waited for them to move. When they did, I politely said “excuse me” and made my way.
I was crouched on the ground, trying to be thrifty and working out which brand was better value when I realised one of the women was standing above me.
And she said “hit me again”.
First of all, I didn’t hit her. I probably brushed up against her, but I didn’t HIT her. Secondly, I was so ready to rip into her, thanks to all of the raging hormones.
But I just looked up at her and said “sorry?” with what was probably a bit of a bitch face.
And that’s when I realised she wasn’t looking for a fight. Her face said it all – her eyes became larger and she gasped a little. Her face literally screamed “shit. You speak English.” I knew at that moment that she had assumed I wouldn’t understand her.
As I walked away from her, I overheard her say to her friend “fuck. I didn’t think she spoke English.”