The inverted traveller.
There you are. With your suitcases, in a place unknown to you in a very different culture and a language you don’t understand.It turns you inside out, you feel inverted. What you take for granted and experience as natural at home comes up to the surface, to the “outside.” Perhaps you begin to realize that your culture and your language through which you perceive the world don’t rule the world. Different rules apply, so you try to be on your best behaviour, polite and smiling.
But wait, we are Anglophones. Isn’t English the global language that people should be able to speak? So you expect the local, the native, to understand what you say in your language, which isn’t her mother tongue. And usually they try - because they want to be friendly or because they want to do business with you. You are back in control (you think). These people sound like children, but thank God you are intelligent and can make out most of what they are trying to say.
The Anglophone does not expect to be the inverted traveller. He is extroverted because he can be. His language rules, and with it the cultural baggage that comes with it. The 18th century colonialist, the 19th century imperialist, and now the 21st century globalist.
But Anglophone beware! Your globalism is resented by those who your English silences or infantilizes. Even when you try to be open, friendly, and respectful, you continue to be dominant. It is not you, it’s your language. And until you have experienced what it’s like to be silenced, to be infantilized, because you don’t know the language, you will remain the bully. So try to be an inverted traveller - if you dare.