I was feeling somewhat exhausted from flying early in the morning from PIT to BWI and stumbled out to the ground transportation at the terminal. As I finally caught the shuttle to the MARC/Amtrak station, a middle-aged graying man got on.
He glanced at me, studying my sprawling bags over the seats.
Then he leaned forward and mumbled, “The bus was late. I am trying to catch the 9:20.”
I could barely make out the words and stared back blankly. I slowly nodded.
“Don’t speak English?” he asked.
I couldn’t help but pass judgement quickly. “No, it’s just loud in here,” I motioned to the bus in my American English.
He said something extra and I realized that another reason that I couldn’t understand him was a thick Southern accent. We exchanged additional pleasantries and settled back into silence.