Then, out on the streets, among people of every shape, size, and color, I felt myself to be growing smaller and paler, a tiny little shadow of a person that nobody could see. It was as if I was not there anymore. Silly, I know, but I would walk along and glance into shop windows, seeking my reflection as I passed, just to make sure I was real.I moved around in a sort of sensory trance, coming to terms with the newness, the 'otherness' of life here, and was often uncertain of my place within it. I feared I would never belong. I was fortunate to have some good friends from home who showed me around, ensured my comfort and helped to get me enrolled in my English course. I was already good at reading English, could speak a little too, and if only I could hear it enough, then I would soon be speaking much better. That was my belief. So I made myself go to the park and sit near chattering mothers and playing children, listening and taking note all the while. I ate in little diners by myself, always sitting where I could hear those clever, fluent English speakers. Nobody paid me much attention, I would read my book or write on my notepad. My father had insisted that my two sisters and I should be educated, we should know the works of the great writers of the world, and we did. He taught us to write, recite and delight in books and language. My trouble was that few of those I listened to seemed to speak the English of Shakespeare! But I was not going to give up. Still, I listened and
learned and it was a joy, a triumph for me when I overheard a word or two which made sense. With a smile, I would jot down 'coffee,' 'cup', 'fries' and so forth, delighted to be able to attach the word to the object. And so it went on, as my notebook filled rapidly with more treasures of the spoken word.