Oct 15, 2008, 1:01 PM
As a result of efforts given to the attention needed here to integrate Spanish and English in such a way that it produces more meaning to me and what I say interpretively to others gives way to not being shy and speaking Spanish when opportunities arrive.
Yesterday I went to the Mexican Consulate to get some business done and holly molly, Mexicans were standing in lines, sitting, and milling around in groves. Talk about an opportunity for emersion, it was a given! Opportunity rang and Spanish mode immediately kicked in with each greeting smile in my path.
After explaining to one of the officers in uniform what was needed he dutifully escorted me upstairs to the Noterios waiting room. After I signed in and sat down to wait with all the others, a very light skinned, attractive, middle aged woman sat next to me. Of course, with the first words spoken, a Spanish conversation followed. She looked very Euro with green eyes and pale, very white sort of an English sallow complexion with bright red lipstick, which made her even more striking.
In the midst of our waiting room muted conversation, suddenly I broke out in heightened laughter after I realized what she had said. While disclosing her tenure in the US, she said, “Tengo veinte años de residencia y diez años mojados aquí en los Estados Unidos.”
We locked eyes inquisitively as if trying to figure out what she was saying and reflex inquiringly asked, “mojados” and when she laughed, I realized it was a bit of a deprecating but yet comedic reference to her being a “wet back.” Her humor was dry and caught me off guard, thus guffaw type laughter followed. This woman was allot of fun to talk too before my name was called by the Notaria.
Having already flexed my vocabulary muscles a bit, I sat across the desk from this young, very polite, exquisite looking creature who carried herself with such grace, a white splash for a smile and her Spanish made me want to: contarle de las flores …….
Kidding aside, she was very nice, helpful and a delight to speak too. Besides business, she revealed she had just graduated from one of the best Lawyer College’s in San Antonio, Mexico a few months prior. Our conversations led us to discussing stuff such as what has been going on lately on MC about interpretive differences between Spanish songs, versus, poetry, and its English counterparts. She also agreed that romantic things, said in Spanish, would sound almost ludicrous when directly interpreted in English.
I came away with not only my business completed but she also sealed the package by emphasizing that my Spanish was surprisingly good ….. Ho humm, such is life and yes, yesterday was a good day!