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Tag Archives: speaking Spanish

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Tormenta de postres

La nieta de la Maestra graduated prepa on Friday. We were invited to the ceremony. La Maestra is a punctual person, not as punctual as a gringo, but much more punctual than the average Mexican. On Thursday, she called to ask if could we meet at her house at six thirty? According to La Nieta, she was expected to arrive by seven and be lined up promptly with her fellow graduates at seven fifteen. On Friday, she amended that to “maybe a half hour earlier”so we could find parking.Not really thinking, I told Husband that she wanted us there at 6 pm. Husband is punctual, more than punctual, not as bad as my dad who considers anything less than five minutes early as arriving late.This lead to a bit of anxiety on Husband’s part, I have acclimated to a more relaxed view of time.My relaxed point of view was also because in my mind, we needed to be at La ...

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Imagine that?

“Imagine that” is what my son’s father would say when confronted with evidence that he was mistaken. According to my friend, Lin I am pretty much assimilated! We were talking about it in the pool this morning. Her points were that I speak Spanish I shop in the local stores I eat local food, including using Mexican brands I have friends who are Mexican who don’t speak English I don’t live in Gringo Gulch I think that there were a few more things, but off hand I can’t remember them. My post yesterday was meant to be a longer one but there were a few power outages so ni modo, I published what I had already written. The longer I live here the more comfortable I am. When we first moved here, walking downtown was sometimes overwhelming. The crowds of people, the games of chicken with opposing walkers, and the general noise levels. Due to enforcement of noise pollution laws, ...

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Did I just say THAT?

Sometimes I forget words or phrases, or remember them incorrectly. Usually, I realize that I am on the wrong track and everything is hunky dory. Occasionally I am totally oblivious to whatever error I have committed. This is what happened the other day.Part of the requirement for receiving an INAPAM card is to answer a general survey, things like do you have a phone? When El joven asked me who did Husband live with. I meant to say “with me”. I said “con yo” and saw the lad flinch so I innocently continued” ¿con mi? eso no es correcto tampoco” ,looking relieved he supplied ¨conmigo¨. Fortunately for me, I was too intent upon answering the questionnaire to realize what I had said. My scatological vocabulary in Spanish is limited, thank goodness,( I swear enough in English to make up for it). I do know a few choice words .When I mulled over the interaction I realized why the lad had ...

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Dueling Mother’s Days

This year Mother’s Day in the USA and in Mexico falls on the same day. I don’t know if you are aware that while the US celebrates Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday of May, Mexico celebrates on May 10th. The first year we were here that lead to one of those Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass conversations that occasionally happen to me.My neighbor and I talking about Mother’s Day and I said “Husband was born on Mother’s Day”.“So Husband’s birthday is on May 10th” she asked.“No, his birthday is May 9th” I answered.“Okay, then Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 9th in the United States.” she stated, thinking that she understood me now.When I replied that “Mother’s Day is May 12th this year not May 9th” she looked at me like I was speaking Martian. Then it dawned on me, this was my first culture clash! Eventually, we straightened it all out.Sometimes I wonder how many things I ...

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Victory smells like lavender water.

I am always on the look out for a deal. Often in the supermarkets, we encounter weird things packaged together,like mayonnaise and tuna fish, which makes a sort of logic. Or laundry detergent with potato chips which doesn’t. Sometimes these things are bargains, sometimes they aren’t. I compare prices, I even carry a little calculator with me because it isn’t always easy to do the cost analysis in my head. One thing that really bugs me is packages emblazoned with 20% more product for free and that item is priced higher than the regular size sitting beside it on the shelf.Today, I ran into Chedraui to replenish my supply of lavender toilet water. As I reached for the giant 800 ml bottle I noticed just below it the exact same 800 ml bottle shrink wrapped with a small 110 ml bottle and the words GRATIS 110 ml!! . My lucky day, I thought, then I noticed that the price on ...

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Chicken soup and a new PINK computer desk

1I have a head cold, Husband has a head cold. I thought that I was all better, last night we went to bed at a ridiculously early hour and got up late. We went to the chiropractor today, I am all achy.That adventure wore me out, I ended up taking a nap! I also made us some chicken soup, not just any chicken soup but Caldo Tlalpeño. Words like tlapalería and Tlalpeño used to seem so weird to me, now I can combine all sorts of odd consonants, Dzilbilchaltun, Dzitya and Tixkokob are child’s play!My computer has been sitting on a green plastic garden table, you all know the type, with the optional hole in the center for an umbrella. I type with the keyboard in my lap so that isn’t so bad, but my mouse is up on the table. Consequently my neck has been hurting. Yesterday, Husband and I went shopping for a computer desk. I have looked ...

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Lazy days and ramblings

I spent this morning at MELL, it was great. I checked out Stranger in a Strange Land, it’s been ages since I read it. I just reread Revolt in 2100, which reminded me of how much I like Robert A. Heinlein. While I was there I indulged my penchant for magazines, skimming back issues of Sunset, Home and Garden and some others. I blogged a bit about that in This is for Fned. I am over my malaise.Except for sending out some emails. I still haven’t gotten cracking on the Blogger meet up for 2009 I did some work on the garden and need to take some photos. I planted a really pretty Ixora, it’s coral coloured! There are a few things in bloom so if I am going to taunt the snowbound, the time is now! Later, while all the nob gardens are blooming mine will be wilting from the heat and humidity. I also have an ambitious jewelry ...

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Growing up bilingual

Fned started a group blog called Bilingualism in Expat Couples which I read with interest. I also read Minshaps’ post on the subject Bilingualism and it’s effect on Modern Family Life, suddenly this morning I found myself composing a post regarding growing up in a household with immigrant parents. This is something that I rarely do, compose posts before I ever sit down in front of my computer. As you probably know my parents immigrated from Cuba, all of us kids were born in the United States and my parents are both naturalized citizens. When I was very young, I almost died of pneumonia and so my mother, my older sister and I lived in Cuba for a while so I could recuperate my health. I am pretty sure that I learned to talk that year, so Spanish was probably my first language. When I was well enough we returned to the USA.When my older sister entered kindergarten or was ...

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False Friends

One of the things that helps me out a lot is that there are many,many,many cognates in Spanish. Words that are almost the same in both languages, thanks to Arnold, we all know “No problemo” which is actually wrong, it’s no problema, but hey, who am I to argue with the Terminator? I have read that if you are struggling for a word, just add an “o” or an “a” to the English word and you will probably be right, unless the words are false cognates! And why is that the false cognates seem to be the ones that get people into the most trouble?Are you embarrassed that your Spanish is so poor? Well, if you think you are embarrassed now,just wait until you tell your new friend how embarazada you really are. Embarazada means pregnant, perhaps you meant to say “me da pena” (it shames me) instead?So you quickly change the subject to the upsoming Placido Domingo concert at ...

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I’ll just pick it up, while I’m there.

“I’ll just pick it up while I’m there” sounds like you didn’t pack a beach towel and plan on getting one when you arrive at the beach,not learning an entire new language.Maybe I should have ridden the short bus, (not that we had buses,we walked to school, but I digress), cuz, I just don’t get it. How do people manage to just pick up a new language? I understand that kids can, and do. Kids are sponges. I am enchanted by our little Canadian friend, she is 8 years old and in a year is as fluent in her use of the Spanish language as any other 8 year old. I find her Yucatecan accent charming, in fact, it cracks me up to hear her say “pam” instead of “pan” (Yucatecans are notorious for saying m instead of n, so you hear Yucatam not Yucatan all the time, pam not pan when they want bread). She of course, is surrounded ...

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