Simple Words and Gratitude

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Oct 5, 2017 00:09
I came back home yesterday and went to see my grandfather. He's open-minded and easy-going so basically I feel no generation gap between us. We talked a lot last night.

When the Las Vegas shooting news hit the screens, I asked him whether he'd felt safe during his recent trip to the US. The news also reminded me of cautioning him not to inadvertently trespass into other people's yards because "Americans have guns."

He replied that he actually felt safe in the US, at least the area where he'd stayed. He also said that he jogged around the community for an hour every day. "Every family's yard was beautiful. They looked like finely-designed gardens. It looked to me as if there was a silent gardening competition going on..."

At first, he was afraid of getting lost so he didn't go far. After staying in that community for a month, he became familiar with the place, so he even jogged into the woods. One day, he felt a bit tired on the way back so he sat down to rest by the road. An American lady saw him, pulled off the road, walked over to him and offered to give him a ride. My grandfather didn't understand English so he had no idea what was going on. That American took a piece of paper out of her car and tried to draw something on it. My grandfather saw the drawing and started to understand that the American was asking him if he needed a ride. He then shook his head and pointed to the community nearby, meaning that he lived just over there.

My grandfather had told me the story all in Chinese until he blurted out, "Thank you very much! Have a good day!" in English. He said he'd used these phrases to thank that American for her kindness.

I was very surprised that my grandfather had just done a great job pronouncing these two expressions, though I knew he always believed that, even with only simple words, gratitude could come across.

[Revised]
我昨天回家了一趟,还去看望了我爷爷。他思想开放,很随和,所以我基本感不到代沟的存在。昨天晚上聊了很多。

当电视上出现拉斯维加斯枪击事件的新闻画面时,我问他一个月前在美国是否感到安全。这条新闻也让我想起了之前我提醒他,不要误入了别人家院子,因为“美国人有枪。”

他回答说,美国其实很安全,至少在他呆的地方如此。他还说,他每天会在小区里慢跑一小时。“每家每户的院子都很漂亮,和精心设计的花园一样,感觉好像每家每户在暗暗较劲,看谁家的花园更漂亮。”

起初,他怕迷路,所以没敢走远。在小区里面待了一个月以后,也就熟悉了小区的环境,他甚至还跑到树林里去了。有一天,回家的时候跑累了,他就坐在路旁休息。一个美国人看到了他,停下车,走到他跟前,看他要不要坐顺风车。我爷爷不懂英语,不知道她说什么。于是,那个美国人到车里取出一张纸,在上面又写又画。看到这里,我爷爷明白了她的意思,原来这位美国人问他,是不是需要送他回家。我爷爷摇摇头,指了指附近的小区,示意他就住在附近,不需要送。

我爷爷在讲上面的故事的时候,一直说中文,然后突然蹦出两句英语来“Thank you very much! Have a good day!” 他说他对美国人说了这两句英语,表示感谢。

听到爷爷说英语,我很惊讶,发音好标准啊!我爷爷一直说,他相信即使再简单的语言,也能表达出一个人的感激之情。