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Talking to a foreigner for the first time

I can’t forget the first things in my life, just like anyone else. And I’d like to make them live forever if I got the chance. I sometimes look back in time Just to see the things I’ve been through, what things I succeed and what kind of person I used to be. In this post, I’ll take you back to the summer of 2007. Almost 12 years ago when I just finished high school 1st. We even didn’t have 3G in Turkey. I was expecting a mentally difficult year but it wasn’t really like that. I met great friends, I was quickly accustomed to a new environment and a new lifestyle. It’s totally irrelevant but Fenerbahçe won the Turkish football league for that year 🙂

As it was getting closer to the summer vacation, we exchanged our numbers and Messenger ID’s among most of the class. As you know those days MSN Messenger and Skype were the first tools to communicate through internet. We also had our internet connection set up for the home in july. Starting from that day, I was able to benefit from the endless resources of the internet while learning English. This process was quite exciting for a 16 year old Salih.

After getting a series of hints from my friends, I started spending a lot of time on the Internet in just a few days. And started chatting to new people as you’d expect. Maybe lack of confidence or being shy, I was sharing really less things about myself with others. Nearly one month gone and I was getting closer to meet the subject of this post. Before that, I’ll tell you another story.

Skype used to have a Skype Me! mode. When that mode was active, the other users could find you based on your user profile. I met a lot of people thanks to this mode. One of them was a girl from Thailand. After some minutes of chatting, she wanted to have a voice call. I don’t know why but I didn’t really have the enough courage for this. But still I accepted but the plan was quite simple. I would mute my mic and tell her that my connection has some problem. So I would get rid of this unexpected thing that was happening. The plan worked perfectly. She didn’t hear me and she also didn’t say a single word. We decided to try again later. But I have never seen her online once again.

No matter What you do, you can’t avoid what’s going to happen. After playing the same mad scenario a few times more, I couldn’t escape further and I got stuck. I couldn’t resist more against a chinese man insisting to have a voice call. I had a few glasses of water as I couldn’t stop the noisy heartbeats. It’s because it wasn’t an ordinary conversation. I was thinking like I have to show off all I know about english. Took a deep breath, wore the headphones and pressed the call button.

We greeted each other but I wasn’t confident. It was quite noisy in the place where he was and I was asking him to repeat whatever he said. But he was keep on asking questions. I was still unnecessarily excited and everything was messed up. I wasn’t able to reply in the way I want. I don’t even remember who I was and what I was talking about. Finally I ended up with an irrelevant question asking if he could sing to me in Chinese. He told me that his voice is really bad, but he could send me a song instead. Okay, I said. Believe it or not, I still keep the song he sent that day. I’ll be including the song at the end of this post.

Later on someone called him and he spoke in chinese. I made use of this break to prepare a few questions. I couldn’t take talking about nonsense things no more. When he’s done with his call, I was totally a different person. We asked questions to each other one by one. I already broke my chains. Told me he’s an engineer. His biggest dream was to go and work in Korea. We then decided to talk again soon and said goodbye for that day. I felt such a relief because his english was as bad as mine. He had a lot of mistakes just like me.

In the beginning of this post, I was going to explain why I decided to write this memory, but I didn’t want to break the perfect flow. Last year when I was talking to a Polish friend, I told him that I’ve been practicing English for 11 years by talking to people on the internet and I also witnessed many interesting events. He was so curious and told me that you really should write these all and he would be the first to go and read he added. Since then I’ve always been thinking about writing, so fortunately today is the day. Every time we speak, his reminder has a big impact on me so I am delighted that I can share this post with you all.

The foreigner I talked when I was 16, his dreams came true. He went to Seoul and currently works in there. The song he sent to me that day is a romantic song from David Tao. But rather than the romance, it reminds me of the day we met.

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