Critical incident - AN UNCOMFORTABLE TIME
An uncomfortable time
In November 2016, I went a week to Italy with my classmates for an English project. The fifth day, my host partner and I went to her aunt’s house to spend the afternoon because in the evening we had a dinner. While we were at her aunt’s house, my partner said she had to go to the bathroom, so she left me with her aunt and her cousin alone. They didn’t speak Catalan, Spanish or English, they only spoke Italian and I didn’t understand them. I told them, gesturing, that I couldn’t speak with them because I didn’t speak Italian but they started talking in Italian and telling me things (that I couldn’t understand) and I was answering using “Yes” and “No” although I didn’t know what they were saying. My partner, who was at the bathroom and I don’t know what she was doing there, took half an hour there and when she came into the living room I thought: “Finally!”
It was a really uncomfortable time and I was dying of shame and nerves.
What should I have done?
- Stand up and go to the bathroom and tell my partner that I don’t know what to do.
- Before going to Italy, learn a few things in Italian.
- Take the mobile phone and search the translator so I could talk with them.
- Yes, you’re going to solve the problem.
- No, if you only know a few things you won’t be able to communicate with them.
- No, because you don’t know how to write the things they say.
Why did she stay such a long time at the toilet?
- She had stomach ache.
- She wanted to put on some make up to go to the dinner.
- She wanted some time to be alone.
- Yes, maybe she had to do her needs.
- Yes, she wanted to look beautiful.
- No, she could make her reflections in bed, at night.
Why did she leave me alone?
- Because she thought I was going to understand her aunt and cousin.
- Because she didn’t realise I don’t speak Italian.
- Because she forgot I was there.
- Yes, because Catalan and Italian are quite similar.
- Yes, you can forget it.
- No, if you have a host partner you think about her.