Monday, June 02, 2008

I Don't Speak Ukrainian - But I'm an English Teacher

Sunday produced more traffic, but not a large number of people. Why, I don't know. However, all it takes is one buyer to close a deal.

At 2 p.m. there were several groups of people at my house. None of them were speaking English.

My Ukrainian neighbour brought a friend, perhaps friends, I don’t know, he and his friends came with the crowd. One of the people who came wasn't talking, but he was looking around and appeared deep in thought, interested.

"How many children?" I asked.

"Three," he said.

"The house is too small for you," I foolishly said.

My new Ukrainian neighbours paid $235,000 for their house, which really isn't worth $60,000 more than mine.

In the evening there was a man standing in front of my house, I thought he was one of the people in the mad 2 p.m. rush. He was talking to someone on a cell phone. It was a curious sight, but I thought it best just to let him do his thing. Eventually he knocked on my door and handed me the cell phone.

"Hello," I said, speaking into the cell phone.

"Hello," said the person on the other end of the phone. Then they were incoherent.

"Do you speak English?" I asked.

"Yes, I speak English."

I couldn't understand what the person on the other end of the phone was saying.

I looked at the man in front of me.

"What language do you speak?" I asked.

"Russian," he replied.

"Do you understand Ukrainian?" I asked

"Yes, Ukrainian," he said.

"Come with me," I said.

We walk two doors down the street, moving in a northerly direction, me holding the cell phone, asking the person at the other end to wait a minute. My new Ukrainian neighbour was sitting on the front steps. I asked her if she could help me speak to the people on the cell phone. She pointed to the man who was with me, "My husband," she said.

"Do you speak English?" I asked.

"No," she said.

We talked, I assessed. "You speak English very well," I told her. "You and me, together, we can understand."

"Tell the people on the phone to come to your house, and then you can all come to my house." By now I was certain that yet another group of Ukrainian people were interested in my house.

I remembered my friend Darlene, who lives a few doors south of me, is bilingual. I called her, she wasn't home.

The man with the three children only has two children. He brought one of his children and his wife to look at the house. They appear very interested. My neighbour, his wife, and the prospective buyers spent a great deal of time in the basement. Apparently these men could come to Canada because of their construction skills, which we are in great need of.

It looks like the family with two girls, sixteen and twenty-four, will buy the house. However, since I'm accepting offers on Wednesday, only time will tell.

It only takes one buyer, and this family are the only prospects giving strong buying signals.

A possible bonus to all of this is I may give English lessons to my new Ukrainian neighbour who is not happy with the English lessons she is receiving at Maples school.

I miss teaching, I'm not sure what we can accomplish while I'm here, but a new language is learned one day at a time, anyway.

I'll charge $16/hour for one person and $20 for two.

Who knows. Sunday may prove to be a good day.

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