I was walking to my car after work this evening, when I noticed a woman, smiling broadly and speaking animatedly, coming in my direction. Since I am fairly well known on campus, I smiled back although I did not recognize her. As she came closer, she looked straight at me, smiled, and said something. She spoke Chinese. I don't understand any Chinese. She continued smiling and walking towards me. She did not seem disturbed by the fact that I didn't respond or appear to understand her. Then, she took out her car key, opened the door of the car parked next to mine and, as she turned, I saw the Bluetooth device in her ear. She kept on speaking Chinese, but not to me.
This is only the latest in a series of misunderstandings I've had with people wearing wireless headsets. I don't seem to be able to shake the assumption that when someone is speaking and no one but me is present, that I am the one being addressed. I guess I will have to learn to wait until I hear, "Hey, you...yeah, you, I'm talking to you - you see anyone else around here?"