During my stay in Vancouver, I went to the Langara college to take English lessons. I used to take the bus, and would ask for "transfers". "Transfer, please" was the first daily colloquial expression that I learned by heart. I remember quite well the strange sweetness of time passage as I waited for the bust to come. The buses were numbered, and I had to take a certain number. When a bus approached with a number that I was waiting for, my breast throbbed with relief.
These were the days when I had to form a sentence before I started to speak, or, when I tried to do it on the spot, the words came out of my mouth only reluctantly and in a clumsy manner. I enjoyed speaking (or rather, to be more precise, trying to speak) in English, all the same.
On the latest visit to Vancouver several years ago, I went to Langara college, to meet myself in the past. The buildings and the campus greens had such a resonance in my heart, until I remembered in a vivid image the linguistically impoverished fifteen years old me walking around with paper bag lunch.
The Langara college campus.