They wield English like a heavy axe with their delicate arms.
“Tell me about your hometown,” I ask.
“It’s beautiful,” they tell me. “Delicious food.”
Everyone’s hometown is beautiful, full of beautiful girls, full of delicious food, full of places of interest. What a beautiful country this must be. Each conversation is hacked apart in a few words. I implore them to speak more. I brace myself.
“I love you,” some tell me. I smile and sidestep their clumsy swings. I might be the first person they have ever loved. There was never time to love before, only to study. Others blush and cover their faces in their hands.
“I’m so embarrassed,” they say. And then go silent.