As a foreigner, I often feel clumsy.
I realized it today when I was parking my bike at the… bike yard? The guard in charge waved me over to a narrow spot down the aisle, where I walked the bike in and tried to get it propped up with 40 lbs of bike seat and baby over the back tire. As I lifted up the back tire to attempt to kick the stand under it, I inadvertently knocked the neighboring bike off its stand.
My head envisioned the entire row of bikes laying flat. Thankfully however, said guard was there to rescue the rogue bike threatening the next 30. I felt clumsy.
As I walked into the city hall, I realized that as a foreigner, I feel clumsy in so many ways. And often.
Oh, I’m standing in the wrong line? Clumsy.
Wait… which line do I need to stand in? Clumsy.
As a foreigner, the information desk is one of my best friends.
Clumsy as I stare blankly at the person speaking to me. What did they say?
Clumsy as I figure out how to work the machines with instructions I can’t read.
Clumsy as I attempt to use new phrases and words in everyday conversation. And the passing glimmer of a smirk when they gently rephrase what I just said.
Clumsy like a kiddo attempting to grasp a slippery fish.
Anyway, when you’re a foreigner, I think the correct word for how you feel for the first however-long is clumsy. It affects your everyday skills.
However, just as my toddler trips and falls because of her lack of coordination, I know that she’ll grow out of it. And I’ll grow out of it too.
I’ve already graduated from falling flat on my face to just tripping over my own feet now and then. 🙂