A Foreigner In My Own Country

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  #1  
Old 09-11-14, 08:26 AM
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A Foreigner In My Own Country

Went to the supermarket today, the only one close enough to walk to.

When the checker came to the yam I was buying she looked at it for a few seconds obviously not knowing what it was so I said yam. She just looked more puzzled and held it up for the checker in the next lane to see. There was some back and forth in Spanish. She rang it up and on the monitor it showed as some kind of chile. I said no it is a yam. More back and forth in Spanish with the checker in the next lane and she gets it correct.

After ringing all items up she seemed to be trying to void the chile without manager approval. It didn't work of course so the manager comes over. There is a discussion in Spanish and he tries to void it but keeps getting item not found. More back and forth in Spanish between the two checkers and the manager. This time he adds a second yam to my bill and the chile is still there. I suggest he void the whole sale and ring it up again. The checker in the next lane seems to translate that to Spanish but he seems to ignore that and me.

Well he tries to void the item again and this time removes the red potatoes but the extra yam and chili are still there. Finally he voids the sale and the clerk rechecks me out.

Through this whole transaction no one spoke to me, not even the manager and every thing spoken by the employees to each other was in Spanish.

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow because I think there must be something seriously wrong with me. I never lost my temper never stopped smiling. Not like me at all.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-11-14, 08:33 AM
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When I lived in central fla there were quite a few small stores run by immigrants that didn't speak much english. I'm probably not very politically correct but it would seem to me if someone wants to move/live here they ought to learn the language!

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow because I think there must be something seriously wrong with me. I never lost my temper never stopped smiling. Not like me at all
I think it's called bewilderment
 
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Old 09-11-14, 08:37 AM
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Wow, when you find out what is wrong let me know so I can catch it. The only thing that keeps me from boiling over at the local grocery store is their refund policy for mistakes. When they mess up I get the item/s for free plus a dollar. When they ring up the wrong item I don't say a word and just return from the parking lot with my receipt and the particular item. If I correct them immediately they just make the correction.

But all in Spanish, my cup would boil over.

Bud
 
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Old 09-11-14, 08:41 AM
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You sure you didn't cross the border, Ray? LOL! Actually, I would not have been quite so nice. Especially if no one even apologized! I think I would have just walked out.
Around here, they provide transportation to Seniors for free, to anywhere, and pick you up and take you back home. Don't they have anything like that where you live? Then you can go to a bilingual supermarket, and one where checkers are required to know all vegetables.

ETA: around here 55 is considered senior, so nothing personal!
 
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Old 09-11-14, 08:45 AM
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where checkers are required to know all vegetables
I have a stepson that used to work in a grocery store, a customer asked him if those were 'new potatoes' his reply was " I think so, I just unloaded them off the truck this morning" Me and my wife still chuckle about that whenever we buy or eat new potatoes
 
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Old 09-11-14, 09:02 AM
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I have a van but it is less of a hassle to walk and I need the exercise. Besides with an "86 vehicle held together with bailing wire using Maypop tires its less stress not to drive... usually.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 10:20 AM
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Every time I visit my sister in LA think I moved to Mexico. Need spanish just to order a hamburger.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 10:39 AM
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Just keep in mind that the people referred to usually speak more than one language like most Americans. That is very often an advantage to them if they choose to. Both of my kids were required to take a "foreign" language in high school.

Dick
 
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Old 09-11-14, 11:58 AM
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When wifey still,had her house in Orlando we would keep some money in a local bank. This was before ATM's were universal. Drive to the ATM machine, insert card and the screen asked "do you want this in English?" Kept looking for the "No, Lithuanian" button. Geesh, did America move?
 
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Old 09-11-14, 01:06 PM
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I would be annoyed too if all they did was speak only Spanish. My great grandfather was from Cuba but I only know enough Spanish to get into trouble and I am very annoyed when all people want to do around me is just speak in Spanish especially if I need a service done. So far the grocery store hasn't been a problem in the organic store I walk to or the other grocery store that you have to drive to. There is a small Salvadoran restaurant close to us that I like but all they want to speak is Spanish so I don't go there often as it is just too annoying trying to communicate to them what I want.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 04:01 PM
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I just had a conversation with my coworker today. He is from Ecuador and was telling me what it was like learning English. Even though he took classes to learn English, his head was spinning when he came to the US. When you learn English abroad, you learn British English. Second, they don't teach you any of the expressions we use. He said it takes about 3 years of being immersed to really learn it.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 04:45 PM
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I know just enough Spanish to understand a conversation.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 04:57 PM
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I yam what I yam, and you're a rutabaga!
 
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Old 09-12-14, 05:14 PM
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At our recent family gathering we recently had this conversation as to why Americans don't learn a foreign language. It was the consensus that it's not because we are lazy or stupid, but we do not have the need. Most of Europe speak multi-language due to the fact that they travel among different countries a lot more than we do. It's almost a mandatory thing that they travel to many countries due to their economy and learning another language is important. However, for Americans the need is not as great. We can get most everything we need without overseas travel. And then our neighbor to the north is English/French speaking so that diminishes the need even more so. Only the Southern border is bi-lingual. Plus the fact that most world economies speak English anyway.

BTW...I have a son-in-law that is Spanish and he sees no need to teach his kids Spanish (their loss). My daughter recently spent most of her summer in Europe and had no need to learn any language. However, her Latin studies gave her the ability to read most signs and get the gist of many conversations.

But to get back on topic...shame on them and all who refuse to try and learn the language of the host country you're in. And with today's electronics it's easier than ever.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 05:37 PM
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I have tried to learn Spanish but just didn't have the wherewithal to do it so I am understanding of people who don't speak English. What bothers me is a large store that makes no effort to be bilingual. In the store in the post the aisle signs are in Spanish only. In every other store I have been in they are in English and Spanish.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 06:07 PM
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Ray, I too have tried but we have no real need or incentive.
Somehow, all Spanish and no English signage reeks of discrimination.
What bugs me, are several people I know who claim they do not understand English, but somehow I suspect they know a lot more than they let on.

Side anecdote....My Son-in-law (who is from Spain) and wife (my daughter) and two kids were out of town several years back. As evening approached and after a long day of sightseeing they were looking for a place to quickly rest and eat. They approach a pizza place and he hears this conversation (argument) take place in between the proprietor and a potential customer. Apparently the customer wanted immediate service and the place was closing down. The proprietor told them no food, no service and to leave. Since the customer would not leave the proprietor started swearing and cursing in Spanish and muttering about how bad this customer was. Customer finally leaves. My Son-in-law approaches the proprietor and in Spanish asked him if that means he and his family can't get any food either? The proprietor was so surprised and asked where he was from. My Son-in-law said Salamanca. The proprietor welcomes him in with open arms and serves the best pizza they had in a long time as they traded stories about Spain.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 06:18 PM
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My friend Charlie who now lives in Tennessee says that most Spanish speaking people know English but rarely if ever speak English. I guess they are just more comfortable with Spanish. Our neighbor is French Canadian and I noticed she would change to French if I was within earshot. So for those who are fortunate enough to be bilingual it is also a privacy issue too.

Spanish and French though are entirely different from their home countries of Spain and France not to mention too the Amish people who speak their own brand of German. We knew someone we gave an Amish newspaper to who was German from the old country, he couldn't stop laughing as everything was different.
 
  #18  
Old 09-12-14, 08:06 PM
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And then there are those who speak New York City and New Jersey. Sorry guys I had to throw that in. And lest we not forget to insult everybody, there is the Southern drawl, Bostonian, and the Buffalo Twang (of which I can take credit for).
 
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Old 09-12-14, 08:38 PM
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I got into a "3-wheeler" (open taxi) in India. The driver heard me say something and asked if I wanted him to speak in English, American, Australian or in Erdu, Hindi, Tamil or some other Indian type dialect. I answered in the only Hindi words I knew plus said English. He laughed and gave a good guided ride (in American) and his card. - It is fun, educating experience that lets you understand the differences and reasons for them in the future.

Dick
 
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Old 09-13-14, 05:10 AM
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I dated a girl from Central America once. We stopped in an ethnically Spanish/Mexican food store. She spoke Spanish to the proprietor and the others in the store. When we got back in the car, she apologized for doing it. I told her it was OK, as the only word I recognized from one of the patrons was "gringo", anyway.

Working construction, we often have hispanic crews doing rock work, etc. One of them speaks fluent English and translates for us. Usually not a problem since we use hand gestures to get points across. Of course there's one on the crew who breaks away at 1130 every day, builds a little fire and cooks scrumptiously smelling lunch for his crew. Different work ethic.
 
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Old 09-13-14, 04:23 PM
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English is the economic language of the world. That's why Americans don't need to learn another language. I heard about a study on the value of learning a second language. The value was measured by how much it would increase your income on average. English was at the top by a lot. Spanish was the least valuable.
 
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Old 09-13-14, 06:01 PM
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And then there are those who speak New York City and New Jersey.
NJ is summed up in this quote.

"I am from NJ. I curse... a lot. I say "yo", and I say it often. I never had school on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. I sure as hell don't pump my own gas. I know what real pizza tastes like, and I know that a bagel is much more than a roll with a hole in the middle. I judge people by what exit they get off the NJ parkway. I can navigate a circle--with attitude. All good nights must end at a diner--preferably with cheese fries. It's a sub, not a hoagie or, worse yet, a hero, and I wash it down with soda, not pop. I don't go to the beach, I go down the shore. And boardwalk brawls are just a part of the atmosphere. Yes, I drink cawfee. I know that 65mph really means 80. I've always lived within 10 minutes of a mall. When someone cuts me off, they get the horn AND the finger. And they expect it. I am from New Jersey, and damn proud of it."




LOL... Found this online....
 
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Old 09-13-14, 06:35 PM
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Beautiful.

.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 04:40 AM
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I never had school on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.
ME neither. However, it seems Keyport schools do not have these Holidays. Totally strange.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 09:01 AM
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I never had school on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.
Actually a young person may have wrote that. When I was in elementary school we did have school on those holidays, but half the school was empty I remember...
 
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Old 09-14-14, 09:57 AM
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In this day and age it seems strange that self serve pumps are still illegal in New Jersey and Oregon. I know of at least one station here that intentionally leaves the pumps on when they close so customers with cards can still buy gas. I guess a way to compete with the two 24 hour convenience stores on opposite corners from it.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 11:19 AM
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I have a hard time with the term "Our country". It exists because of wealth of values provided by the immigrants.

The vast majority of the people(citizens) in the U.S. are there from the immigration of their ancestors in the last 150 years. The only older immigration is from the south (Mexico) that happen before we put in a border around "our country". All of my ancestors came from Norway, Sweden, Germany and Luxembourg. My wife's ancestors are from Germany and Switzerland if you back far enough. All came well after the late 1880's just like most U.S. residents. The Italian immigrations began in strength a little later.

Where would be we without pizza,chow mien, nachos and hard working recent immigrants.

I am a genealogist and have done researches for many people and they are always amazed where and how their ancestors got here to claim a part of the continent. Unfortunately, I got too ambitious and found out that one of my ancestors may have been "Attila the Hun" and his history is clouded once he got to Europe. My Norwegians go back to Russia and Constantinople(Istanbul).

It is a big world and is not short sighted in the end.

Dick
 
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Old 09-14-14, 11:41 AM
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I have a hard time with the term "Our country". It exists because of wealth of values provided by the immigrants.
All the cast-offs that Europe did not want! Because of that mixture we are in fact a country with a particular (albeit short) history and heritage and I dare say nationality that is unique from any other country (Canada comes close). Anybody with ancestors (even 1st generation) would be hard pressed to go back to the "old" country and become wholly integrated. Like any other nationality, once American, always American.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 12:50 PM
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Move to Italy, and you'll never become an Italian. Move to Germany, and you'll never become a German. Only in America can you become an American. Make sense??
 
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Old 09-14-14, 01:00 PM
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All the cast-offs that Europe did not want!
I disagree. I don't remember any forced immigrations from other countries in our early years (other than slavery), unlike the start of some other countries. Most people came to escape the poverty and squalor of their native countries. Here was this new country where people weren't relegated to the same life and lifestyle their father and fathers father and fathers fathers father had. Here was a place where you could actually own your own land, work at whatever job you wanted, even open your own business. Where you could escape persecution of whatever type (for the most part). And remember, they paid their own transportation to get here, a massive amount of money for some of them.

Unless you are full blood Native American or Inuit or Hawaiian, your ancestors were immigrants of one sort or another.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 01:58 PM
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I disagree. I don't remember any forced immigrations from other countries in our early years (other than slavery), unlike the start of some other countries.
Call it any name you want...poverty, religious persecution, political asylum, no labor opportunities, war, famine or whatever. Slavery is the one term that does not apply. Slaves are forced to leave there homeland by other people and not by any of the above mentioned items.

Perhaps one of the most difficult actions to do is to give up one's homeland to go to another country. Immigrants feels they must leave their original homeland. The reasons must be very compelling, and usually non-negotiable in eyes of the person leaving. He feels forced into it by circumstances beyond their control.

Everything else you say in your post contradicts your first sentence.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 02:08 PM
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I agree with you somewhat Gunguy45 not really forced immigration but sometimes persecution that was so bad with some people that they felt the had to leave. Jewish people for instance who felt persecuted by some Christian people.

The Amish too that I spoke about before who felt squeezed out some by Lutherans who didn't care very much for them but tolerated them and others by Catholics who absolutely despised them. So no not forced maybe but definitely pushed around a great deal. Others though like the Irish were persecuted some but more came here for the opportunity of possible wealth.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 03:48 PM
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Everything else you say in your post contradicts your first sentence.
I don't mean to argue...but how does what I said after "I disagree" contradict "I disagree" (with "All the cast-offs that Europe did not want!"). I disagreed with that specific statement, not the rest of your post.

The Irish/Italians/Germans/Swedes/etc were not all "cast off" by their respective countries. Many left for more opportunities or to better themselves, not just because they had no other choice, of course some indeed felt that way. Forced immigration would seem to indicate "Leave or else" or rounding them up and putting them on ships or making their life so miserable that they would leave. Cast off would seem to mean abandoned? Not all were in such dire straits.

Australia comes to mind as a somewhat forced immigration (at least for some). Forced migration might be a better term, I guess.

One reason our country became what it is, is that immigrants were looking for opportunity and instilled that ethic in their children. Educate yourself, work hard, grab the next rung. Unfortunately I think that has been lost to a great extent, in that people think if they just punch the right tickets they will be successful. If they don't innovate, take chances and risks, and occasionally fail, they will just be another drone in the system. The majority (not all) of Millennials seem to have this attitude or just don't expect to be able to succeed in the current climate. As I said, not all, but a lot, my step-son being one of them. He doesn't just slack off, he works hard, but only for today, with no real goals for the future. He's currently in Australia working 2 jobs, but if his circumstance changed even a little, he'd be in trouble.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 04:18 PM
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Can't argue with that. I think we both mean the same thing but are using different words.
 
  #35  
Old 09-14-14, 04:30 PM
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Exactamundo! Cheers to you too!
 
  #36  
Old 09-14-14, 05:51 PM
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In my research, I have found that people leave Europe (or possibly other regions) for personal reasons and were not just kicked out.

My G-Grandfather grew up in Luxembourg( a small spot between Germany and France depending on the date. He went to study to be a "priest", but left after 2 years and decided to to go to North America and being the elder son, he had to sign over his "family" rights to his younger brother who was required to buy his ship passage ticket. Arrived in NY, went north on the Hudson river/Erie canal, though the lakes to settle in Milwaukee, Canada and then migrated to MN. I got this info and photos from his family in LUX. It was interesting that when he got his U.S. citizenship, he had to disclaim all relations ship with the "Grand Dutchey of Luxembourg" to get his citizenship after being in the country for 7 years. That was a common routine at that time and not an exile and not a deportation from a oppressive country.

My Scandinavian ancestors left between 1860 and 1890 and were not oppressed and were willing to move to other areas with similar climates and other earlier immigrants. - That was a few hundred years after the Norwegians that first visited North America and made settlements. The old historic documents in Norway (and Sweden) were meticulous and all travel was documented. Even for a 2 month summer trip for work less than 100 miles away. The first siblings came over and others followed about every year. Europe at that time had economic problems limited by resources (not politics), the plagues, so many chose to immigrate for a new start. The picture is about the same for the Irish and Italians. that followed about the same time. No Europeans were sentenced to the "New world" except those that went via France to "Devils Island".

Dick
 
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