26 jun. 2013

How big is the world?

In English language class in the United Kingdom, with people from other countries, we were asked to draw a map of the world. And also, we were asked to write the names of some countries in English.

The map of a mate was like this:

For her the world had 4 countries. Sorry… I mean 3 countries and the sea.

One of the squares was her country. Now I don’t remember which one was. The other square was France where she had been living with her husband before traveling to England. The third one was England, of course. The fourth was the sea. As she explained to me, she could see the sea from her country, from France and she knew that it was close to England as well. Maybe she could see the sea from the airplanes.

My draw was something like this:

She asked me where Mexico was. I put my finger over the draw and explained where Mexico, United States, Central America and South America were and said that the two last ones were full of countries.

She didn’t say anything. She asked me the draw and looked at it carefully.

Then the teacher gave us a world map without names and asked us to write the names that she was going to say. In English, of course.

We were working in couples. When I attended the class I used to wear a coat because it was autumn and it was cold. After arriving to the classroom, I and the other ladies removed our coats because the room was warm due to the heater. The Muslim ladies stayed almost totally covered, even their heads. They never showed their hairs, always covered with scarfs.

She worked with me and asked me to write the names in the map.

When the exercise ended, the teacher gave us a world map with all the country names. The Muslim lady asked me both maps to look at them carefully. Her scarf had dropped a little bit, leaving the hair of her front a little discovered. She opened her eyes looking at the countries in both maps one by one.

“Can I keep them?“ She told me suddenly. Her scarf had dropped a little bit more. She put her hand pulling the scarf to cover again her head but not carefully.

“No problem” I told her. And she asked me to show her England and Mexico in the map. I put my finger over the two countries and over the country that I though was hers.

“Which one is this?” She moved the finger.
“And this one?
“And this one?

She asked no more and thanked me with a brief smile. I said good bye looking at her face that was in other world. I think that maybe that day the world had grown suddenly for her.

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