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Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Tale of Two Taxis

Taking the taxi to the San Antonio International Airport was the usual experience.  The driver couldn't drive nor could he speak English very well.  I counted myself lucky just to reach my destination.  At the other end (Taiwan), where I was much more tired and irritable, the taxi at the airport was a pleasant surprise.  First of all, the driver spoke excellent English even though he wasn't a native speaker.  Also, he informed me wifi was available in the vehicle in case I wanted to use it.  Finally, he asked me what kind of music I listened to and turned to a preset channel carrying that genre.  It really felt like first class service or, at least, what service in America used to be like.  I wish we could start importing competence and a stronger work ethic.

7 comments:

  1. I'd be happy if we could import Japanese CEOs - so we could replace 95% of all U.S. corporate chiefs, who are nothing more than criminals.

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  2. Hey, Nando! Thanks for leaving a comment. IMHO, the problems all started when people stopped being held accountable for their actions.

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  3. I noticed that in the USA. Many people don't speak a good English,even if they were born there. Is Spanish the dominant language?

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  4. No, it's not the dominant language but many immigrants, legal or illegal, are finding it less and less important to learn English for whatever reason. In Texas, many products sold in the supermarkets are labeled in both English and Spanish. I imagine immigrants from other countries are jealous that their native language isn't also represented.

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  5. Yes, I knew that. I was kidding. I noticed that...in many restaurants they don't speak Englisj...just Spanish. Maybe for this reason... "English is the de facto national language of the United States, with 82% of the population claiming it as a mother tongue, and some 96% claiming to speak it "well" or "very well."[5] However, no official language exists at the federal level. There have been several proposals to make English the national language in amendments to immigration reform bills,[6][7] but none of these bills has become law with the amendment intact. The situation is quite varied at the state and territorial levels, with some states mirroring the federal policy of adopting no official language in a de jure capacity, others adopting English alone, others officially adopting English as well as local languages, and still others adopting a policy of de facto bilingualism." When I was in NYC I went to the hairdressers and I spoke English...but the owner of the hair stylist didn't speak English and ask to a friend of her to translate what I said into Spanish. I speak Spanish so I could talk her. I asked her: "How long have you been living here for?" She answered me: "Seven years, but I don't speak English at all" I was surprised...so I asked her: "Why?"...Her answer was: "I don't need to speak English and I think it's a very hard language." Yes...English is not easy, but I think lots of people are lazy. Seven years...you can learn English in such a long period. Marco got angry for that reason, but I preferred to stay silent. Unfortunately, what is happening in the USA is not unique...

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  6. It's funny, people in Asia are paying a small fortune to learn English while a certain segment of American society takes pride in their lack of knowledge of the language. Just shows you how screwed up our modern values have become.

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  7. Yes, you are right...strange moment.

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