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The speaker is a 43-year-old White woman with a college education from Chagrin Falls, Ohio; she was recorded in 1967.



County: Cuyahoga
State: OH

Commentary:
Located about 20 miles east of Cleveland, the village of Chagrin Falls has a current population of around 4,000 residents. Now a residential suburb of Cleveland, it was historically a mill town with small factories, sawmills, and paper mills utilizing the local waterfalls of the Chagrin River. In this segment the speaker talks about her experience visiting Niagara Falls and eating lunch with a group of foreign-language speakers.
Inf: And Friday we ended up going to Niagara Falls.

FW: Oh, why don???t you tell me???

Inf: And that was interesting [FW: Oh, okay]. I went down to have lunch. And I had a funny feeling. I almost got lost on a tour. I went into the dining room and there wasn???t a soul in there. And I sat down at a table. And the girl took my order, and all of a sudden this mob of people came in and sat down and I had to share my table with a man across. Well, this was a new sensation. Not one of ???em spoke English.

And here it was a tour from Europe. And all these people with these air bags and cameras hanging on ???em, and all. And they were looking around for menus and the waitresses didn???t bring ???em any menus. And then finally, they have a buffet set up in another dining room and these people were to use the buffet. So the waitress came around and was going like this to ???em, ???Go to the buffet.??? And the people were just looking at her, like this. And the tour guide wasn???t there with ???em yet. So she was going, ???Buffet, buffet, buffet!??? and poking these people till they got the idea.

Then they all went at once and got in this huge line, and one lady didn???t go. She let her husband???she was sitting two tables down???go to get her plate. So the waitress comes along and she starts hitting me on the shoulder. And she says, ???Buffet, buffet!??? And I said, ???I???m an oddball. I speak English and I???ve ordered.??? And she got the funniest expression on her face. And this other woman started to laugh. [Laughter] And then uh, I noticed one woman came back at another table, and the waitress was pouring coffee. And she said uh, ???Please pour a cup for my husband.??? And she said it in English. And that was the only English word I heard.

And then a couple sat next to me, [Coughing] and the wife did not speak English, but the husband could. And so I talked to him and they were from, was that Basel or Basil, Switzerland, up near the German border. And this was a tour of people and they were not all Swiss. They were all different nationalities. And you know, this was a new sensation. I???ve never been in Europe or anything. But to sit there and have all these people talking at these different tables, and not to comprehend a thing they were saying. And I thought, ???Gee, this must be what it would be like to go to a foreign country, in a restaurant, where there wouldn???t be any other Americans or English-speaking people, and to sit there and hear all this.??? And it really brought something home to me. I???d like to take a foreign language so I could speak it.

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