Friday, June 22, 2012

"Mi Espanol es muy malo"

Yesterday was a day of attempting to practice my Spanish.  It happened like this. Off I went to the mechanics "shop".  That is a very loose term as he is a "shade tree" mechanic.  No mechanic.  Other alternative was to go to the Pemex station and see if one or all of the attendants could fix the hood. I was driving around on the cobble stoned streets expecting at any moment that the hood would fly open. 

Thankfully it did not.  On my drive from the mechanics place to Pemex, I was practicing how I was going to explain, in Spanish, what the problem was and could they help me.  I start EVERY phrase with a Mexican with the phrase, "Mi Espanol es muy malo".  Then I ask, in Spanish, for them to talk very slowly.  They always smile at me.

I need no chastising for not being able to speak Spanish any better.  I always get by.  I have taken Spanish over a period of twenty years at least eight times.  A mental block is my explanation for this embarrassing fact.  Or maybe it's that my mother made me take Latin for four years of which I can't tell you a word or phrase of that either.  See, I'm language dyslexic.

I get to the station.  This exchange happens.  The attendant said he didn't speak any English or understand any, which was what I expected.  So I launched forward in Spanish, which I know was not grammatically correct, but he got my drift.

He lifted the hood.  He tried to fix it.  He tried slamming it.  To no avail.  Along came an elderly attendant who looked in, fiddled with some wires, told the first guy what to do.  Voila, it was fixed.  Time to fix - less then five minutes.  Time I worried about it, probably several hours.

I tipped the attendant.  Thanked him profusely.  Drove off as I saw him taking the tip and heading for the OXXO store for food.  I was happy.  He was happy.

All is well that ends well!


Life's a Beach! said...

Mine is too! In fact, it's practically non-existent! Glad your hood got fixed.

Shannon said...

My Spanish is fairly passable. I can carry on a conversation, talk on the phone, and still, recently I told a waitress that I was very tasty. She was very polite and probably laughed herself silly as soon as I was gone.

Babs said...

That's right up there with my asking the man at Pemex, many years ago, to "limpio mi manzanas"......
You've gotta laugh - just like they probably laugh at us, but politely.