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Back to our regularly scheduled program

I’m back to normal today. My blue period did not result in my being medicated or losing an ear. I really appreciate the support that I got. I also want to reassure Wayne that the blogger blowout was awesome! My regular readers know that I usually forget to bring a camera along, I want to assure you that I did take photos! Ha! it’s just that they are not your typical tourist photos.
I took some shots of a few particularly nice plantings, and a couple of some decorative paintings that I thought were well done. What can I say? I am odd.
Here in Merida, I generally assume that people don’t speak English, sometimes I am pretty sure that if I spoke Maya I’d be able to communicate even better, nothing like two people communicating in what is to both of them a foreign tongue. My neighbor across the street, who is amazing, is studying Maya, she even got interviewed for a television special done by the local tv station on people learning Maya, which I think is really cool. Apparently in Isla Mujeres , almost everyone seems to speak some English.
Husband and I were looking for someplace to break our fast on Saturday, the guy selling timeshares or maybe condos asked us if he could help us find something. When I answered him in Spanish, he asked us where we were from. Husband answered Mèrida, we also admitted to being from California originally. Then, the Isleño asked what I thought was an off the wall question, he wanted to know if I taught Spanish! When I replied in the negative, he then wanted to know why I spoke Spanish. To which I could only say “Because I live in Mèrida. Why do you speak English?” He good-naturedly laughed and answered “Because I live on Isla”.
I told that story to one of my fellow bloggers (Canuncanuck, I think) and she said that the people who live in Cancun are always amazed when she speaks Spanish. I guess that is one of the major differences between living in a tourist destination versus living in a town that sometimes has tourists.
Speaking of foreign languages, did you know that Canadians call themselves KA nuks, not Kahn nukes? My excuse is and always will be that I pronounce all foreign words with Spanish rules of pronunciation, even when I don’t.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Fned, I would be totally screwed if I had to pay for something in dollars, I don’t have any! I had someone try to give me my change in USD once (at a hotel) and I refused it, because I knew how hard it would be to get rid of.
    Melissa, maybe the waiter was so programmed into speaking English, he didn’t even realize it?
    I think when Spanish speakers see someone that they don’t expect to speak Spanish, they get so hung up on their inner dialogs that they forget to listen. They are too busy panicking and practicing their 3 words of English that they don’t have time to process what you are actually saying.
    I had one guy once demand to know why I looked Mexican if I was a gringo. I just shrugged my shoulders and answered ” mala suerte?” ( bad luck?).

  2. I just had a language funny this morning here in the States. A friend who works next door was waiting for me with a gentleman, hoping that I could help him b/c he didn’t speak much English. So I started talking to him in Spanish, and he said that he’d call his wife because she speaks more English. I hear him say, “Estoy con una muchacha que casi no habla espanol, asi que mejor tu hables con ella.”

    Um, sir, what language were we just speaking? His wife and I proceeded to have an entire convo in Spanish.

    I think that some people just assume that since I look so, um, Aryan, that despite what’s coming out of my mouth, I can’t speak Spanish.

    And once (a loooong time ago) I was in carlos and Charlies with my husband (don’t ask…but at the time his English was pretty weak), and we went to the bar to order tequila. Of course, my husband ordered in Spanish and the waiter insisted on answering him in English. Huh?

  3. Hey, just for the record… I was stunned to learn that in Cozumel prices are in dollars and not only that! Some places don’t even take pesos anymore!!!! WTF!!!

    When a woman refused to sell me a bottle of water if I didn’t pay in dollars, I said (in a mean ironic mexican tone, I admit) “I’m sorry, perhaps I’m mistaken but this is Mexico, right? and as far as I know Mexico is a soverign country with its own money, right?”

    To which she calmly responded: “yes, but us mexicans living in Cozumel have to buy milk and tortillas for our children in dollar prices”.

    That sure shut me up.


  4. I promise to post my photos, I just have to find my little cord that connects to the computer.
    Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Theresa,

    You had several audience members when you were telling that story! We all listen to the great Theresa!

    I would like to see Isla via your camera lense. So post away….you have a trip report to get to!



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