Her first words were warning enough that she was trouble. The heavy accent of a girl-cum-woman peering down from her station. Condescension her natural tone. My instinctual judgment from harmless words tainted with such an inflection was minimal, however, and I gave her a chance. Besides, despite what they had told me, the country was running low on Americans. Tourists in arms, I embraced someone who spoke the language – my language – however horrible she managed to make it sound.
“I’m from San Fransisco,” she answered, looking around for her husband, perhaps to save her the trouble of talking to me.
“Really? I’m not hearing it.” I replied quizically. She sounded like an American offspring of the queen, though far more superior in her lah-dee-dah syllabic frolics than I would expect from her Majesty.
“Oh, I’ve lived many places, dear,” she said, still not looking at me directly. She seemed to be searching for her man in the small clutch she was carrying, rooting around for far too long than the size could give credit for. “I moved from Chicago, and before that-”
“Illinois, huh? I’m from Rockford,” I say quickly, trying to grab onto an aspect of the conversation I can actually relate to on some level as it flies past.
“Oh,” she says with a smile, and then offers a small laugh, “Really? It’s a bit of a joke, isn’t it?” she says without a hint of humour.
“What?” I blurt out.
“Well,” she says, and says only that, believing it to be enough of an explanation to her statement. A bit of a joke? I try to formulate some sort of response in defense of my hometown but before my thoughts can coagulate into something witty and biting she spots her husband over by the door and simply waves, – we’re a couple of feet away from each other at best and she waves – turns and leaves.