In a few short weeks, the missus and I are taking a vacation.
On the first of June, come hell or high water, we’re escaping the grind for a little peace and quiet. We’ll be celebrating our tenth(!) wedding anniversary, and we’ve already decided where we’re heading — Riviera Maya, on the Mexican coast south of Cancun.
(The tourist-grubbing website is sort of funny, actually. They call the area ‘el paraiso es para siempre‘, or ‘paradise is forever‘.
“According to her, they’ll soon find our carcasses somewhere in a Tijuana barrio, sitting freshly scarred and half-dissected in a bathtub filled with ice, with instructions to call ‘nueve-uno-uno‘ on the nearest phone.”
Frankly, we just need ‘paradise’ to last a week, and to not water down the margaritas. We’re not high-maintenance people, with the ‘forever’ sort of expectations in our getaway destination. Who can afford ‘forever’ in ‘paradise’ on today’s salaries, anyway?)
We’re very much looking forward to our time in the tropics, but I’ll admit that my wife is a bit anxious about our plans. She speaks no Spanish, you see, so she’s at the mercy of whatever has seeped into my brain from two semesters of high school Espanol.
Which can be summed up in three handy phrases:
To be fair, my Spanish is a little better than that… but not much. If it’s not alcohol-related, and doesn’t pertain to cucarachas or mamacitas or Feliz Navidad, then I probably can’t help you. But at least I’ll be able to order burritos with the appropriate rolling of Rs. Bambino steps, people. Bambino steps.
My wife, on the other hand, is completely devoid of Espanol experience. She took French in high school — which was phenomenally useful during our trip through the Parisian catacombs, but not so much when we’re ordering Coronas in Cozumel.
So I’m coaching her. Whenever I find that she could practice a bit of native Latino tonguery, I let her know. Like when we discussed our upcoming jaunt with a friend of ours, for instance:
Friend: So, have you guys figured out where you’re going on vacation yet?
Wife: Oh, yeah — we’re going to the Mayan Riviera.
Me: *cough* *kaff*
Wife: I mean… ‘La Riviera Maya‘. Of course.
Friend: Oooh, sounds exotic. Where’s that, exactly?
Wife: It’s in Mexico.
Me: Oh my lord… *ahem*
Wife: What? It’s in Mexico. That’s what I said.
Wife: Oh, right. It’s in ‘Meh-hee-coh‘.
Me: Meh-hee-coh what?
Wife: *sigh* Meh-hee-coh es muy bonita; me llamo es Senora Conchita. Ole! Happy now?
Me: They are going to eat you alive down there if you keep that attitude, honey. Eat. You. Alive.
Actually, I’m sure we’ll be fine. Most people at the resort we’re staying at will likely be English speakers. And vanishingly few will have the pesos to question what’s being said to them. Simply sounding out phoenetics — ‘For pay-vor, grrrrrrrrrin-goh‘ — should go a long way. That’s what I keep telling her, anyway.
She doesn’t believe me, though. She’s sure we’re screwed. According to her, they’ll soon find our carcasses somewhere in a Tijuana barrio, sitting freshly scarred and half-dissected in a bathtub filled with ice, with instructions to call ‘nueve-uno-uno‘ on the nearest phone.
I say, ‘fine‘. Even at that — waylaid, hungover , and liverless — it’ll be one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. We don’t get away very often, so my expectations are accordiningly modest. If we make it home without forfeiting our passports or spending time in la penitentiary, I’ll call that a success. Viva la Meh-hee-coh!Permalink | 1 Comment