Wednesday, 24 April 2024

“Is it with a bath?” “No, please come on foot”


“Is it with a bath?” “No, please come on foot”

On my first visit to the US, I arrived at a bus terminal in San Francisco and called a hotel to make a reservation.

“Do you have a vacancy tonight?” I asked and the hotel employee replied, “Yes we do.” So far, my attempt to communicate in English went well.

But when I asked whether my room had a bath, I was told that I could go there on foot. “But, is it with a bath?” I asked again, and the employee said again,“No, please come on foot.”

“I like a room with a bath,” I insisted, and the employee responded, “I said, come on foot!” “With bath, please,” I tried again, and the employee hung up.

You may know by now what happened. Although I tried to say “with bath,” I kept pronouncing “bath” incorrectly and ended up saying “with bus.” That resulted in the hopeless exchanges of “I’ll come by bus” and “You can come on foot.” It was just the beginning of my life in America, though, where I would have a numerous problems with English pronunciation, such as getting a “coke” when I order a “coffee.”

Takumi Oka