Friday, July 24, 2015

The Foreign Exchange Student Mix Up

On my way back from Florida last summer I had a connecting flight where I had to take a monorail over to another terminal. When I first boarded the monorail there was no one else aboard, except for a small family of four. Then, just before the doors shut a huge wave of people boarded, including a large group of foreign exchange students from Spain. They were all wearing the same shirt, which had an embroidered symbol of what I assume belongs to their school. They were chatting excitedly the entire time in Spanish about where they were headed off to next. I took basic Spanish for two years in high school, so I could only pick up a few words here and there (Mostly 'Si' and 'No'. I know... Those two years were definitely time well spent).

Once the monorail stopped and everyone began to exit I somehow got swept up into the group of students, as we all stepped onto the escalator, that led down to the gates. I didn't think much of it though. Connecting flights always make me anxious- therefore, all I could think about was checking the arrival/departure board to make sure that my assigned gate hadn't changed. So, after stepping off the escalator I headed straight for the boards. After finding that my plane was still leaving out of the original gate I was relieved, and tired, and more than ready to be back home, so I decided to go find somewhere to sit down and wait out my hour long layover- but, then something funny happened.

As I began walking away from the boards, this man and his wife tapped me on the shoulder and said very loudly, "EXCUSE ME. WHERE ARE YOU GUYS FROM?" I was so very confused, so I just sat there staring at the two of them for a few seconds. Then the man turned to his wife and whispered, "I don't think she speaks English." After this I understood... He thought that I was apart of the foreign exchange student group. I began laughing, which made them look at me even more apprehensively. Then after a few seconds of not being able to contain my laughter, I pulled myself together and said, "Oh no. I'm sorry. I'm not apart of their group. I somehow got mixed into their group as we were heading down the escalator." At this, the man's wife hit him on the shoulder and said, "I TOLD YOU! She's not wearing the same shirt as them." Then after apologizing profusely they walked away.

I could not stop laughing. When I arrived home I told the story to my family, and still found it just as funny as if it had happened a few minutes earlier. Even now as I'm typing this I'm laughing. I've had lots of funny things happen while travelling before, but none as funny as this one.

-Melissa P. Cooper 

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