Acceptance Around the World

November 3, 2017
By Anonymous

There were waves of adrenaline pumping through my body. A million heartbeats per second. I was beyond curious to see what existed behind those huge sliding doors. So many cultures and places I was ready to explore. I could not wait to see a whole new way of life. Immediately after I stepped out of the airport, I felt the warm and humid air against my skin. Thoughts flooded throughout my brain, all at once. I was so excited to see part of the world that I have never seen before. After some time, my family managed to find a taxi that could fit us, and all the baggage that we came with. The leather seats of the car were cold, a relief from the hot weather. I sat in the car, glancing out of the window the entire way to our hotel. The hotel was tall and had a cubic shape. A turquoise/green color and white beams running across it. Shortly after I stepped out of the taxi, there were people at the entrance to greet us. First, my father checked into the hotel, and then we traveled out near the pool and lounging area. There was a decently-sized crystal clear pool. As well as a gargantuan, abstract structure. It was white and resembled a giant goldfish. We looked out and could see the ocean. There were people parasailing and jet skiing. I immediately remembered the time I was in Mexico, all the people out on the water. The sunset reflected perfectly on the ocean. Distinctly remembering the fresh water scent, ventilating around in the air. I got a similar rush being in both places, feeling excited yet overwhelmed. I felt two emotions at the same time, all knotted up in me. The view of this place was utterly breathtaking. The sun was beaming, and the people below us were bustling. I could smell the ocean from the hotel, it was a comforting aroma. As if I were on the beach or on a boat sailing away. The feeling that I got, when I stood above the new world below me, is is unforgettable.

Our first day in Barcelona was a blast. The sea breeze and lights on the coast were priceless. In the evening we went out, in search for a place to eat dinner. My face lighted up, since it was my first night in Europe. I put on some very elegant clothes and made sure my sister brought her camera. We stepped outside, and I can remember how it felt, like it was yesterday. There was mild wind and it was warm. Lucky for us, the ocean was right across the street. Walking along the boardwalk, my family and I saw these fascinating palm trees. They were delicate, tilting palm trees, surrounding the boardwalk. Giant, forest green leaves covered the prickly tree. The sun was just starting to set and the view was incredible. We finally decided on a small, mexican restaurant. It was right by the water so the scene was perfect. The only problem was, most people in Barcelona spoke either Spanish or Catalan. I know Spanish pretty well and my sister is quite fluent. Unfortunately, this knowledge did not seem to be useful in this situation.

“Hola,” my sister and I said in unison.

Our waitress energetically replied, “hola.”
“¿Pone tener dos burritos y tres enchiladas?” my sister asked, almost too politely.
“Si, y catorce aguas,” I happily added.                                                                                                                 
“¿Si?” replied our waitress, quite confused at what we just asked for.

We were conversing about our food and drink orders, however including many mistakes. The waitress was completely confused because instead of saying ‘can we have’, my sister said ‘we put’. It was not grammatically correct, and to make it even worse, I said fourteen waters instead of four waters. My father had a proud look on his face, but little did he know that I just asked for fourteen waters. Thankfully, she was able to use common sense and give us the correct order. It was quite embarrassing, to mess up our Spanish that much. It was almost as if we forgot everything we had learned. Our faces felt a hot red when we realized that what we said was wrong. I felt completely humiliated, a strange feeling ran through my body, almost like a shock. On the contrary, our server was very kind. She did not smirk at us, in fact she just smiled pleasantly, almost as if it never happened. It was kind of her to do that, because it made us feel less agitated. Especially after she made us realize that what we said was only a minor mistake. Although, we did make multiple errors in our Spanish speaking throughout the trip. In that moment, I learned that it doesn’t take that much effort to accept people. There are so many diverse cultures and individuals around the world. Therefore, it is important to know that acceptance is crucial to having a positive life. Even if you mess up your Spanish a little bit, it is okay. Additionally, a great feeling to have is to know that some people can be very kind to anyone. Our server did not seem to judge us at all, and that didn’t make me feel even the least bit of remorse for speaking incorrectly. Acceptance can be a tough quality to find in a person, however people can surprise you. That is a lesson that I will carry with me everywhere I go.

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