The first thing this living in a country whose language I cannot speak is to teach me the a new-found respect for the illiterate. Really!
How hard it is to live your life when everything we take for granted are unintelligble. Not understanding when the cashier at the grocery store rattles off a number I hand over a handful of coins. She patiently counts back my change. I smile dumbly feeling stupider than ever.
I have learned the value of hang gestures. From "is that parking meter not working," to "I want two of those," to "I want a haircut," I've managed these tasks with my bare smattering of French.
Of course the haircut turned out to be quite drastic and not close to what I wanted but it is hair, it'll grow back, I hope.
Being illiterate is hard work. It makes you read body language like a linguist, lets you live constantly outside your comfort zone and lets you function despite the many, many barriers to your success.
Tomorrow I am getting a soin visage. That's a facial...I think. Keeping my fingers crossed.