I am disappointed in the unapproachability of my floormates. Oh, some of them are very friendly. And to be fair, I’m not entirely positive that I come off as hugely talkative and outgoing either, though I do at least always smile, and usually say hi as I pop in and out of the kitchen for endless cups of tea.

Basically, there’s a whole crew of South Asians. Which is fantastic! They’re always in the kitchen late at night, making food that smells amazing, or at least roti. (Not naan, I looked it up – naan is cooked in the oven, and roti is cooked on top of the stove, but otherwise they’re quite similar flatbreads.) And though they’re all a bit older than I am – late twenties to thirtysomethings, by my guess, except for the child who lives on the second floor – that’s completely cool.

No, the problem is that they travel in packs. And they keep speaking to each other in their native tongue. Which, whatever, that’s completely fair, obviously. It’s just inconvenient. Because while if they were talking in English, I could join in, or if one of them was alone, I could easily strike up a conversation, while they’re together talking in not-English, I’m very definitely excluded.

Which wouldn’t be a problem except that it makes it hard to be social and damnit, without an existing social relationship how am I going to get them to share their culinary secrets?

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