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How I Robbed My Landlords
by Natalia; April 28, 2008

Very often, misunderstandings between people because of lack of English lead to funny and ridiculous situations.

One morning, I prepared to do my laundry, saving the necessary number of dollar coins for this purpose. My loading process was interrupted by the arrival of an elderly Asian couple holding small boxes in their hands. I greeted them—they smiled in return. While watching them with interest, I understood that they were the landlords of our apartment building.

They started to collect money from the machines’ slots, moving quickly around. When they approached my machine, I asked them to let me start the machine first. They again smiled, saying nothing. I lost control of the situation for a second and after this I couldn’t find the coin that I thought I had already put in the slot. I checked my pocket, but couldn’t find any money there.

“The landlords took it and I didn’t notice,” I decided. So, I asked politely, “Will you, please, give me my dollar back; I am not able to start the machine.” At last, after an unpleasant pause, they understood my request and gave me a dollar without a word and with strange expressions on their faces. I happily started my machine.

One minute later, at the elevator, I searched my pockets again and found the “lost” coin. My face flashed red like a boiled lobster. Ashamed, I rushed back to the laundry to return the money and to ask for forgiveness, but the landlords were gone. I managed to catch them in the parking lot. They took my money and again smiled in return without a word.

Later, I figured out that my landlords don’t speak English at all.