I've officially started my thesis project by hanging out at El Sol, a local resource center that helps day laborers find work. This evening, I sat in on one of the English courses the center offers. It was a beginner's English course; I stayed for the entire session (2 hours), and spoke with the teacher after the class ended.
"Is English your first language?" I asked.
"No, German is my first language."
"What languages do you speak?"
"German, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch."
"Wow, that's impressive."
"Well, I'm from Europe, so speaking multiple languages is not seen as anything special." (Said with complete modesty)
Well. I'm still impressed.