I mean that’s probably really obnoxious. But it is mildly hilarious, if you don’t expect anyone to know what you are asking about. If you expect everyone to speak English and are a bit too fabulous for sign language, and some often inappropriate hand gestures – then I cannot help you.
What I have found so far, is a few things:
Communicating with the staff, is hard – but a bonding experience. It’s almost like that bit in “Love, Actually” with Colin Firth. Where he falls deeply in love with the house keeper, or was she just another house guest.. I don’t know – but makes no difference, really.
I’m not falling in love with the gardener – or the cleaner, BUT I can appreciate how it would happen. Making a dick of yourself via sign, often renders you pretty vulnerable in the cool category. If your maintenance man looks anything like the gardener from Desperate Housewives (although that guy kind of has boobs, not sure I’m down with the gardener.. maybe if he looked like the werewolf from True Blood?), or the maid from Fawlty Towers – let them in. Drop your guard, and try out your signing skills until they have to make out with you because you look like a hopeless foreigner, who needs rescuing.
Another thing that is good to note, supermarkets take longer than necessary. As we have established – I don’t speak a lick of Spanish. Which generally means, I don’t read a lick of Spanish. I must say – I’m better at interpreting written Spaniard than I had anticipated. But that doesn’t mean I’m awesome. There is a lot of picture observing, and price translating. The $$ translation is mainly because – if I do not know the difference between items > I will then make a final decision based on price. Yes, I also feel like a tight arse > but I’d be there all evening if I didn’t.
Because of my basic understanding of all things Spanish, I am now forced to eat like a college frat boy. My diet today, has consisted of:
- Cheese Quesadilla
- Steak Burrito
- Shrimp tacos
My shopping list this evening consisted of:
- Olive oil
- Fruit (banana/ mangos)
My main reason for eating like a frat boys is that I really don’t want to end up eating donkeys ears in a taco, or purchasing pigs stomach from the deli. It could happen, and yes > maybe I would have no idea, but if I have no idea and then notice something weird about the food – I’m that person who will puke on command.
Driving is equally a nightmare. I have a car. And let’s be honest, I’m OK with driving in different countries – I drive in America (right hand side), I have driven many times in Bali (left hand side), and I obviously drive in Australia (left hand side). And maybe it’s not that weird here, there just happen to be a few weird driving habits that freak me out. People don’t really drive with blinkers, or in a steady crazy fashion. In America people drive like arseholes, but they are determined arseholes so you sort of have this nice rhythm of aggressiveness. Here people change lanes while on a round about. Or cut across your lane at the very last minute to exit the highway, on a very short off ramp.. without signaling. Really?
Another thing that is weird about having a car is your obsessive fear that people are going to rip you off. Need to get petrol? – you will get crazy obsessive about how not to get ripped off.. I mean I don’t even know how they WOULD rip you off, short of diluting the petrol with water – but if they have done that, no amount of Spanish is going to help me out in that scenario.
Normally I am a pretty good out sasser. I have out sassed a pick pocketer into giving me my phone back after he stole it from me, but that was in French; Yeah, used to be able to out sass, in French. But when you don’t speak the language – you are kind of fucked. I don’t care how western/ anglo the environment is, you look like an arsehole – and I sort of agree that arseholes should be penalized.. In the form of being ripped off.
Another thing that is not working out for me right now, is the fact that I’ve been terrified by my boss telling stories of Somali pirates (ridiculous – yes, I know I’m in Mexico), and general nonsense I have recently heard from friends about traveling to Central America (Friends, I’m in Cabo – not Tijuana, get a grip).. So this makes night times, in a big old house, kind of scary.
I don’t do scary movies, I don’t like dogs for fear of being bitten, and I don’t like wandering around in the evenings with out street lights. So after getting my head filled with tourist horror stories, I’m now apprehensive. I’m positive I’ll wake up tomorrow AM, and wonder what the big deal was. But for the minute, being solo is weird.
The only constant I have right now is beer. I frankly can’t figure out if this is joyful, or seriously depressing..