Dan and I have been fortunate in our business to have met a lot of people from many different places.
For example; yesterday a weary looking mom came in with two young kids in tow. When she first spoke I knew she wasn’t from around “these parts”. I had a difficult time understanding her, especially with the two kids who wanted to do the talking, but I recognized the accent. It made me think of lush green countryside and field stone "fences"…IRELAND!!
After finally being able to understand that they needed a water and electric site near the playground with no cable tv hook up, I had to ask how it was that they ended up in the U.P. of Michigan. She told me something that I didn’t understand except the part “from New York” and then I understood the word “Seattle”. She tried to explain how she searched out our area due to the “alan” (not sure how to spell it, but I made note of it!! And I THINK it was a compliment! ) of the area.
I told her we had always wanted to go to Ireland; that we were fascinated by the green, rolling hills and I wondered if it was always that green or if they had snow. She understood the green hills and the word snow. I think she understood me much better than I did her. She let me know that they didn’t have nearly as much snow as we do but the kids were very excited last year because their school was called off for the first time for a snowstorm.
They got their firewood and headed for their campsite in their rented motor home.
As soon as they left the lobby, another couple came in…talk about from the opposite ends of the earth.
“Howdy”, he said. “Ya’ll got any spots left? Me and ma wahf would like ta have a fool hook up.” (No I did not misspell FULL).
I told him that wouldn’t be a problem and asked how long they could stay with us.
“Wall, that all depends on what thar is to see in the area. If ya’ll kin tell us a bit about thangs to do, we maght stay a couple naghts. We picked yo campground ‘cause it seems to be purty much in the middle of thangs.” And the conversation went on from there. This hubby and wife are from Oklahoma.
I converse with a lot of people from a lot of different places. We had one guest from Borneo, others from Greenland, some from S. America, quite a few from India. My problem is not just understanding them but making sure they understand me, otherwise there is a lot of head bobbing and smiling from both sides.
So I have found myself doing the following…as if this is going to help….I speak very slowly, talk a little louder (THEY AREN’T DEAF! THEY ARE FROM A DIFFERENT COUNTRY! BUT FOR SOME REASON I DO THIS). To top it off, I provide over-exaggerated lip movement to enunciate the words better. I’m sure some of them go to their campsite or their cabin telling their friends or family that I have some sort of a physical lip deformity and that I’m probably a bit on the “slow side” because it takes me so long to form my words.
Something that is really funny is when I have people tell ME that they love to listen to “us Yoopers” talk! What is funny about that?? I’M NOT ORIGINALLY A YOOPER, I’M NOT FINNISH AND I THINK THE ONLY YOOPERISM I HAVE PICKED UP IS SAYING ‘YAH’ A LOT. But maybe I HAVE picked up a slight “accent” and I just don’t know it, eh?
Regardless, we have a very enjoyable time meeting all these people and having them put a map pin on our world map. At the bottom of the map it states “WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE YOU FROM??” It has been an interesting 17 years!
2 days ago