The missus and I have returned to Boston, touching down on an afternoon-turned-evening-turned-redeye flight at around two this morning. Somewhere in the few thousand miles between Quintana Roo to Logan Airport, we lost the sun, the summer, and forty degrees of heat. But our Yucatan sunburns still itch. Mother Nature is a puta sometimes, yo.
Still, it’s good to be home to see my own bed and TiVo and keyboard again. I’d include the dog, too, but she’s in the midst of her customary post-vacation pout. We’ll eventually coax her out of it with a nice long walk and reparation treats, and she’ll be fine. Nothing says lovin’ like fourteen Snausages and a Milkbone breakfast, apparently.
As for the vacation, we had a fairly spectacular time. Last time we left the country, I recounted our adventures in no less than six full posts. While that was a valuable writing exercise, it also established beyond the shadow of a doubt that I have no future in the travelogue industry. This time, I’ll spare you the weeklong recap and limit the vacation verbiage to two posts. Words today, and pictures manana. Let’s do eet.
“I can converse in Spanish at the level of your average three-year-old child, provided that we’re talking only in the present tense, and the discussion centers around the finer points of guacamole.”
My initial fear during this vacation was that I hadn’t brushed up enough on my Espanol to see us through. My language training consists of two semesters of high-school Spanish taken nearly veinte anos ago, plus the occasional Chi-Chi’s menu. So I can converse in Spanish at the level of your average three-year-old child, provided that we’re talking only in the present tense, and the discussion centers around the finer points of guacamole.
Luckily, we were staying at a resort frequented by Americans even more ugly than I, so nearly all the staff were bilingual. I employed the local language where I could, with a ‘que pasa, amigo‘ here and an ‘otra margarita, por favor‘ there — but mostly, we got by en Ingles.
(In the ‘small victory’ category, though, a couple of kindly staffers heard my attempts at Spanish and asked:
‘Hablas Espanol, senor?‘
To which I responded:
‘Solamente un poco, gracias.‘
Which I believed to mean, ‘Only a little, thanks.’ Given the very odd looks on their faces — and the fact that they immediately switched to English — I now wonder whether it means something more along the lines of ‘Your grandmother was a banana, thanks.’
Maybe my pronounciation needs a little work.)
Mostly, I found that ‘conversational Spanish’ is really only useful if you know enough to get yourself into a conversation in the first place. Most of what I know, I could only use at various points while talking to my wife. Which is unfortunate, because she doesn’t speak any Spanish at all. On the other hand, she won’t get desnudo when I ask her in English, either, so it’s not really so different.
At any rate, we were better off than on a trip to Paris a few years ago, when our roles were reversed. As we mingled among the French, we found fewer English speakers, and had to make do with my wife’s basic French and my admittedly less-than-ideal charade techniques.
(You can likely imagine the trouble that ensued when I tried using only hand gestures to ask:
“Can YOU TELL ME where to PEE?”
We all had a nice chuckle over that at the gendarmerie afterwards.)
The other details of the trip were pretty standard, really — lots of sun, lots of food, and lots of tequila. We slept late, swam a lot, missed most of our dinner reservations, toured the heart of one of history’s greatest civilizations, and never quite knew who, when, or how much to tip. Pretty standard all-inclusive Mexico resort stuff, really. I’ll tell you more tomorrow. There’ll be pictures. You’ll like it, really. Right now, I need my siesta. I’m still on margarita time. Hasta manana, amigos.Permalink | 3 Comments