Training from the telephone operator

I have an Indian accent, but some Australian accents are far more difficult to understand. I have such problems when they say 'eight'. I was trying to get a number from the telephone operator one day. He was saying 'ite', 'ite'. I couldn't understand what this word 'ite' was. The first time he said it, I thought it was 'heart'. But what did 'heart' have to do with the number? I made him repeat the number four times. Then I realised, "Oh, it is eight!"

The next day, when I asked Ghanta his age, he also said 'ite' - but it didn't confuse me because I had already gotten training from the telephone operator.

— 11 September 1984