Today when i took the bus in Norway
It was a usual day as always. I scanned my travel card and found a seat to sit in middle of the bus. It was that time of the day when little ones were at schools and elders were at college, universities or at their jobs. At that time of the days in middle of the week when its a busy working day, you will find busses less crowded and a number of senior citizens traveling from place to place. To have some activities, to kill their loneliness and to meet fellow seniors. So this is the perfect time for them to move around. I am talking about the retired ones, who have spent their life building current system and make every this as it is now for the current growing generation.
And of course the people like me who are foreigners, settling down in this beautiful country and the ones who are here to visit, on a work trip or to spend holidays are there too. Also a number of refugees can be spotted.
Suddenly the silence broke, an old voice could be heard from a nearby seat. I could tell the gentleman in over 80 by the sound and pitch of the voice. He spoke some words in Norsk as i paid attention he was trying to approach a small little arab princess. He got the attention of most of the travelers in the bus. I guess he had some issue with his hearing because he was a little louder than usual norwegians. I should say norwegian are so kind when they speak, especially when it come to address an unknown person. They have their own way of using different polite words in their language.
Now when he said some words to the little arab kid, she was around 7 or 8 as per my guess, it created an environment that made me think about saving the situation in my words. The little girl looks at him with a curious but fearful eyes and then looked at a lady sitting next to her and then looked at him again. As the old man got her attention his words flew out of his mouth and broke the silence once again. This time the women sitting next to the little girl wrapped her arm around her daughter and moved closer to her.
It got to see the impressions. She was a bit confused and kind of lost. It was like some one switched her protection mode. As an eagle spread her wings when they feel danger around their eaglets. Just like that she reacted.
At once the old man had a strange confused look at his face too but he attempted again to say few more words. Sounded loud as before but few more words than earlier. He got up from his seat, little shaky, holding poles and seat, moving towards the door and as bus reached to a stop, he went off.
I could see both of them , the little arab princess and her mother they felt quite relaxed now. Mother hugged her daughter and gave her a little smile to cheer her up and spoke few words in arabic.
I could understand the old man and the woman. Old man said first time “Hello, you are pretty“, and there were exchange of impressions from the other side. Then he said in 2nd time “Do you speak norsk? I have grand daughter just like you.” Oh this time the mother reacted and wrapped her arm around her daughter. She muttered in confusion and a little frustration “I don’t understand.” “Come closer my darling.” Finally before he got off the bus he said “I just wanted to say hi, nothing to be afraid of in my country, good bye.”
What i saw, was a remarkable piece of misunderstanding. They were not able to understand each other, they were speaking two different languages, which lead them to an unpleasant and confused situation. As being so old he was not able to express his expressions as his words. The little girl along with her mother were not able to feel his welcoming gesture. I felt as he was trying to welcome them to his country and wanted to say that they are safe here. His sound and faded impressions were not able to translate his feelings. So the mother and her daughter could not understand.
This situation made me think that how important and useful it is to understand each other. If you move to other country where the language is a barrier, you must try to learn it. If the woman could understand few words of kind old man, the situation would have been pleasant and the little girl would never have been afraid. That would have given a huge smile and satisfaction to the kind old man.
well it was my bus ride from school to home today and I learned something new. I felt to share with you guys. Some of you might have witnessed such situation. If i ever be in such situation specially around seniors where i can not understand the other person, best thing i like to respond with is a big smile and pay a little attention to there words so they won’t feel neglected/ignored. Good luck with your daily travels and observation 😉 write down if you have some thoughts.