Friday, February 06, 2009

TBWCYL Day 36 - Silence is Golden

Well, today's task was the most difficult I have had to do by far. It was 'Say Nothing Today' and you know I take these seriously. Starting at 12:00 am on Thursday I stopped talking and didn't say another word until 8:00 pm.

Here's what happened when I stopped talking.

I am currently in NY visiting Diana and going to a comic book convention. Have you ever tried going anywhere and writing all of your requests down? I set out with a notepad in my pocket and with bags in tow, headed for the airport. I got there too late to get my bags on the plane so with some gestures to a lady helping people check in, I got moved to a new flight.

I pre-wrote some notes so when I went to check my bag, the woman at the counter believed me to be deaf or mute, I am not sure which. I got through security without incident and with an hour to kill I decided to eat.

I hit Starbucks and handed my order to the woman at the counter. She was a friendly black lady but I don't think she knew what to think of me. I ordered a large black tea latte and I thought she got my order down but when she came back with an iced tea, I knew we were in trouble. I showed her my order again and pointed out the Latte to which she just smiled and went "OHHH" and proceeded to make me the correct drink. Again, I think she thought I was deaf.

I know the guy at the Micky D's thought I was because as soon as I handed him my sheet for ordering, he proceeded to stop making sounds and instead used hand gestures. They also got my drink order wrong so I had to take the receipt back up and get an unsweet tea. By now I was just starting to act like I couldn't hear because people are just generally nicer when they think you can't hear them.

The plane ride was uneventful and when I got a cab I just handed him the address and pretended not to hear him throughout the ride. The fun when I paid was the best. Have you ever seen a North Korean NY cab driver try to tell you how to swipe a credit card. Awesomeness.

Diana wasn't to happy not to be able to communicate and we went to dinner with some of her co-workers so at 8 I buckled. Something I didn't think would happen by not talking was feeling nauseous. I am not 100% sure but I think that because I was restricting my vocal chords, it was making me feel queasy. I thought I might barf for a while but after I started talking it slowly went away.

This was one of those tasks in the book that really does change your life. I got more out of this than I thought I would, partly by seeing how crazy it is to communicate. Also, I learned that I talk to myself a lot because all throughout the day I was forcing myself not to say things and instead just think them. I will say that people are patient witht he deaf though.

That is all,


1 Ripples in the pond:

Erin said...

I'm really impressed with your dedication to this task - kinda nice that you were dealing with mostly strangers for the majority of the day and could pull off the deaf/mute business, because I can only imagine what might have happened if you had been at work.

Have fun in NYC!!