He liked the movement of the mouse cursor on my computer screen. So I pried his hands from the keys and opened up Microsoft Paint. With a few interruptions to change color and tool, a four-year-old who stumbled upon me in a park in Budapest, Hungary drew me a computer-generated painting.
Children don’t likely understand the concept of language. I certainly don’t remember when I learned of the six billion people in the world, most don’t speak like me. The little boy with the dirty sweatsuit, dirt on his brown-olive skin, and sand in his bushy, black hair spoke on to me, in a language I couldn’t understand.
He shrieked, too. First when – hoping to get him to stop smacking my laptop – I took his underarms and lifted him into the hanging leaves of a nearby tree.
He was positively gleeful.
He got on toy horse near the swings and – with a strong-armed point and another high-pitched shout – demanded I get on one nearby. For a few good moments, he and I raced fast and long toward a Soviet-era apartment complex across the street.
Then he got off and wanted to be lifted more. Offering demand I still couldn’t understand, but smiling in a way I could.
I don’t know where he went. Someone called what I thought was a name – a woman in the distance. He asked me to lift him once more – into the branches and leaves. He spoke more to me, grabbed some leaves and tossed them at me – sand included – and was gone.
Running off with a green soccer ball. A young boy I’ll never know. Who shrieked in my ears, threw sand at my face and gave me a pleasant picture to keep.
Any newspaper that can even be tossed in the conversation has someone adding to it. There is no end to the number of jerks like me doing much of the same, with less experience and knowledge but increasingly more interest than the more professional.
The question, of course, is if any of it is working. One of the simpler answers, I’d say, is, well, look at the comments. If they’re improving, you’re improving.
Currently I am abroad, video podcasting at WeDontSpeakTheLanguage.com: A video podcast and blog about traveling the world for the young and broke. Follow me there, but also continue to enjoy regular posts here at ChristopherWink.com about the plight of a young, aspiring journalist, which will appear below this reminder.