earthenlinguist:

Raj raised an eyebrow. Deep in thought, a crease
formed between his eyebrows, a little thing his face always did while
he was pondering what exactly to say next. „Well you got me there.
People do that quite a lot, but then again that was just my personal
opinion. I don’t necessarily want to change people.“, Raj smiled
and pointed his index finger to the boy’s chest. “Just people I’m
interacting with.” Raj did not miss how Dustin rolled his eyes but
he decided to let it go. Teenager will be teenagers after all. “Well
actually it is that easy, if you think about it.”, because really
money, family, age? All those things are just hurdles to overcome,
not roadblocks.  When Dustin started asking about the alcohol Raj
knew he hit a nerve somehow. A mischievous grin found its way onto
his face. The boy assumed, that people in Europe were breaking the
law. Raj wasn’t clear enough so he explained: “No, why would they
be afraid? After all it’s perfectly legal over there. They believe
it’s better to have teens get used to it slowly then just dump
alcohol on them as soon as they turn 21.” Raj whipped out his phone
and scrolled to a few pictured on his social media account.  He
showed Dustin the pictures of his nights spent partying and the
amount of teens with beer and mixed alcohols in their hands. “You
answered your own question. You’re sixteen.”, Raj looked the boy in
the eye, knowing exactly that Dustin didn’t fool anyone with his
little spiel. “Trust me when I tell you you’ll be young for quite a
while. I’m 21 now, and I’m still pretty young. As for family and
jobs, I don’t know yet. Is it that important? Isn’t it kinda boring?
I just plan to be happy and do whatever that entails, and at the
moment that is tutoring teenagers and learning new things.”

“I mean I guess it’s true if you say so, but then
again I bet it’s just the right teacher that is missing in your
life.”, Raj knew that not everyone was receptive for new languages.
Many people only ever spoke a single language in their entire
lifetime. Not that he could imagine that being the case anymore. It’s
true that people sometimes learned one language easily while another
puzzled them. Maybe it was just French? Deciding not to dwell on the
intricacies of Neural Linguistics and the different theories about
acquisition of language, Raj just shrugged it off. Confusing the
highschooler wasn’t what he came for. He came to advertise his skills
and get some student to teach either German or Spanish.

The stretch of silence signifying the end of the
conversation, Raj picked up his bag and was about to leave when
Dustin approached him with an idea. The boy was asking about
hypothetical cases, but Raj and the whole wide world knew that
whenever someone asked hypothetically, they always meant it…
literally. “Hypothetically answering, I’d wonder where half the
rate went. Wouldn’t the parents get suspicious?”

Dustin
raised an eyebrow. “You’re not going to change me, though. Even if you’re
interacting with me. I will still apologise for not knowing things I maybe
should know. It’s called manners.” He gave the man another incredulous look
when he told him that really, it was that easy to just fly to Europe. “I’d love
to see you travel to another continent with the fifty dollars you got in your
wallet,” he told him. “And with parents who would get the FBI involved if you
even tried to leave the town without their permission. I’ve got a 9pm curfew,
they’re not going to just let me go over to Germany so I can get drunk legally.”
The idea that 16-year-olds were apparently allowed to consume alcohol over
there was so strange. Because those people were the same age as the teenagers
in America, and alcohol probably had the same effects on their bodies. So why
was there a five-year-difference when it came to the legal age of alcohol
consumption? “I’m not sure you’re being honest with me, or if you are just
totally fucking with me,” he said, brows furrowed as he looked at the pictures.
“I mean, those people could be over the age of 21 or 18 and just look a bit
young. And hey, just because I’m sixteen doesn’t mean I like to get drunk.”
After all, he’d only gotten drunk once in his life, and so far there had been
no repeat. Not that it hadn’t been a little fun. “I mean, I’m not particularly
looking forward to having a job,” Dustin told him. Although it would be great
to have his own money, that he could manage however he wanted to. “But having a
family is kind of important, don’t you think?”

“I
don’t think having a different teacher would make a difference,” Dustin mumbled.
It wasn’t like if his teacher was nice, suddenly French verbs were going to be
a lot easier to remember. This wasn’t about his teacher. This was about the
language, and his inability to remember tense forms and vocabularies.

“Hypothetically,
the student would have to keep the other half, of course. So that their parents
wouldn’t get suspicious,” Dustin replied, speaking quickly so Raj wouldn’t
leave without having heard everything he had to say. Hopefully he would go for
the offer. It was worth a shot. “But I think this would be an excellent way for
a tutor to earn money. Because they wouldn’t have to do anything and still get
paid. So the tutor would be happy, the student would be happy, and of course,
the parents would be happy. It’s a win-win-win situation.”

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