I don't speak the language
I’m in the middle of a 40-day, 14-country tour of the world. Our first two countries were Peru and Chilé. I do not speak Spanish.
I like not speaking the language. I keep being told that I would enjoy it better if I spoke Spanish, and could converse more freely. But I don’t think so.
One day I will speak Spanish and enjoy it. But for now, the conversations I do have are more intense, more profound, deeper - because there is no small talk, no small talk can be made.
But more than that, I enjoy the company of people - the ones I pass on the street, the people at train terminals, riding next to me in silence, the co-pedestrians and fellow travelers. And I don’t need language for that. Their warmth, the mass body heat that they collectively give off - is communication enough. And if we pass in silence with a stray friendly gesture, then I’ve entered their world as both an alien and a fellow human being. And I enjoy that.