Thanks to Ginnie (In Soul), what has always been said of me has now been confirmed.
I'm a communicator. I like to talk. I love to share ideas. I am no secret. Outside or inside, there is not much difference. I am pretty much just as I appear. At first I thought that meant I wasn't that deep, but I now realise that it means my depth is very close to the surface and that you don't have to dig very far in order to find the real me. I don't hide things. Ask me a personal question and you'll likely get a direct answer.
In school every report card was sent home with the words "loves to talk" or "talks too much" somewhere on the page. Never mind the straight A's, I was always being told to keep quiet and to listen more. My favourite doll was "Chatty Cathy", and all my Barbies had their own voices. My Mom always said that my younger brother didn't speak until he was well over 2 because I did all his talking for him.
Now that I'm an adult I don't think I talk all that much and I hope my listening skills are better developed. But I still love those little conversations that are spread throughout a normal day. I noticed how much I thrived on those while in NYC last week. I'd buy a sandwich and chat with the girl behind the counter. Standing in line for the toilet I'd turn around and ask the women behind me where they were from. Sitting in the audience at the musical I'd smile and chat with the person beside me. Snippets of other people's conversations were oh so interesting. The constant noise of the city was stimulating, not draining. I wanted to take it all in and remember every moment.
Now I'm back in Albania, and I feel frustrated. Some of the younger Albanians speak English really well, but most people my own age don't. Instead they speak Italian as their second language, a language I've never studied. The noise of Tirana drains me rather than stimulates. I wear my earphones attached to my iPod in order to keep out the constant sound of horns and traffic. I don't listen to other people's conversations because I can't understand them. "Si jeni?" (how are you?) and "Mire" (good) are about the extent of my daily conversations with people I meet on the street. The boy who sells sunglasses outside my apartment always smiles and asks how I am. "Mire" I say, wishing I could stop and have a longer conversation with him, the adorable boy with shockingly beautiful teeth. The older man with a thick bundle of American dollars who stands on the corner where money is exchanged tries to make contact with me on my way to the gym. "Morning" he calls out to me, his only English word. "Morning" I call back with a smile. In the little shop where I buy water, I hesitatingly ask for "Uje" and inquire "Sa kushton?" (how much?). Without language I become as a child, and I am bothered by it.
There's a sweet lady who sells various neccesities from the top of a cardboard box. She crouches all day on an even smaller box and as I pass her I always make sure to smile at her and give a little wave. There's nothing I need to buy from her, though I wish there was. Yesterday as I was passing she waved to me and motioned for me to stop. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a packet of chewing gum with just two pieces left. She spoke to me in Albanian, asking how I was and more. Again I used my one word "Mire". Her chubby fingers struggled to get a piece of gum out for me and the last one for herself. If I could speak her language I would loved to have asked her questions about her life, her family, her country.
But I can't. Me, the girl who was always told to be quiet, is now often speechless.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951), Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)