Friday, June 24, 2011

Hold Your Horses

They call it Pueblo Viejo because if you walk to old town 
in San Juan Puerto Rico during the 
warm and humid month of Junio you age 5 years per mile

 I walked 2 miles and I am not smiling, 
I am gritting my teeth while I pant

I tried to wrestle this homemade unicycle loose, 
But my husband told me it was an art installation

When I saw Burger King I knew cold pop
and hot french fries would save my life

Me:  Let me order for us in Spanish

Husband:  (doubtful wrinkled brow) Are you sure?

Me:  Si.  Es fácil.

Husband:  (Brow wrinkles deepen)  Good, because I need to use the facilities.

I approach the register and smile cheerfully in my best friendly-American manner.

Me:   Por favor, un doble whopper con queso.  

Burger King niño:  With cheese?

My eyes narrow to a squint as I size up the annoyingly self assured youth across the counter.  So, it's going to be like this is it?  I speak bad Spanish and you counter with good English Muy bien Senor, muy bien.

Me:  Si, con queso pero sin caballos

Burger King niño:  You don't want horses?

Me:  What?  I mean ¿Qué? Oh, I, I mean pero sin cebollas

Burger King niño:  (Cracking a condescending pimply smile.) Ohhhhh, you don't want onions.  Will that be all?

Me:  No.  (Nervous clearing of throat)  También, numero tres con queso, un medio

Burger King niño:  Number three with cheese, medium?

Me:  Yeah, that's right.  A number three and quit pretending that you didn't understand every syllable of my perfectly accented español 101. 

Burger King niño:    ¿Qué? Yo no le comprendo.

Me:  Well played, mi amigo.  Well played.



just call me jo said...

Cheeky ninos. Smack him with a caballo or cebollo or que evero...

Holly said...

Eeeeks! This reminds me of when I went to Mexico City for two weeks and ate at a Denny's three times a day, 7 days a week and ordered a hamburguesa con queso y coca every single time because it was the only thing I knew how to say. They asked me once if I wanted onions (cebollas) on it and I thought they asked if I wanted heads (cabezas) on it.

Connie said...

You looks very pretty while gritting your teeth.

Great conversation with said Burger King employee.

Hiccup MeL said...

Ok, that Spanish conversation just made my day. Awesome. You are HILARIOUS!

Pondside said...

I think I've experienced a similarly humiliating foreign language encounter - too funny!

Amy said...

This is too funny! Thanks for commenting on my blog. We went to OSJ a few years back and it was amazing how everyone spoke English, pretty much. I LOVE that unicyle pic, too!

The Bipolar Diva said...

That's too funny!

kate said...

You go on cool vacations.

Sue said...

Loved this, Laraine! Made me want to try out my French on some snobby French people.


Anonymous said...

oh.. so nice post.)
Love your blog.))

I now spend a survey of bloggers with such questions.
1. Why did you create a blog?
2. For whom you taking him? Want to be popular?
3. How long will it keep going?

karen said...

OMG! You have Puerto Rico NAILED!! I went twice while Katie was there, and they do not like Americanos. I think they resent us gussying up their island because heaven knows, if left on their own it would be a total mess. But despite the attitude and the EXTREME humidity and heat, didn't you love it? I could have spent tons more time in Old Town - so charming, even if it's in a fair amount of disrepair. Loved the charming streets, the restaurants, the fort and the gorgeous views. Admittedly, not as tourist friendly as Hawaii, but it was sort of a ghetto Hawaii in Spanish. And the warm, blue water, white sand beaches... well, this is a comment, not a post so I'll stop here. But it's a beautiful place not many people think of going.

Katie said...

LOL, my mom sent me to read this post and boy did I ENJOY it! Hilarous! I'm sure you've heard from my mom that I lived there for three years and thought I would come home bilingual. Not a chance! Every time I practiced my spanish they spoke to me in english to make me feel stupid. When I spoke english they would act like they didn't understand me or would tell me I should learn spanish. I ended up speaking english because I wasn't up for feeling humiliated every day, hahaa! Miss it like crazy though!

Brooke said...

How dare he insult your Spanish....way to give it back to him :o) You are the best you!

Michelle Teacress said...

You should have made your own dang quesadilla. (I can't remember, do you like Napoleon Dynamite?)

Amanda- Hip House Girl said...

Hehe this is about how I sounded on our honeymoon! Luckily my new husband does not know Spanish and was therefore thoroughly impressed.

I burger with caballos and kayso sounds pretty good about now...