Mexico "Way"

My stupid blurbs about anything and addition to the ups and downs of living in Cancun, Mexico.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Talk Louder, I'll Understand You Better

Recently I had to make a phone call where I had no choice but to speaken ze "Español". While I don't have a terrible problem with this, I start to have issues when it is imperative that I understand everything that that person is telling me. It's bad enough that some instructions are hard to understand in English. It is only made worse, when they are in Spanish, and there is vocabulary thrown in that I've never heard before.

However, Dear Readers, this is not my biggest pet peeve.

My biggest pet peeve is that when you say, "No entiendo" which means "I don't understand" or something to the effect of "I'm confused", the person that is trying to speak with you instantly turns into the devil.

Yes, they have horns, and a spike for a tail and most importantly, they have fire spewing from their mouths.

You know how we cringe when we hear tourist in Wal-Mart speaking to local workers and they speak really slowly and REALLY loudly? You know how we get really irritated and think that they are rude and obnoxious tourists?

Well. I get it now! I totally can dig it! I want to be spoken to slowly, and loudly when I don't understand. Because it sure beats the alternative!

What's the alternative you say? (Some of you already know the answer)

The alternative is, having the person/devil repeat the same shit over and over again without any sort of variation to what they are saying. They will repeat the exact same words that you didn't understand in the first place, in the exact same way they said it the first, second and third time that you didn't understand it.

Instead of trying to help you out by guessing which words I probably wouldn't understand or explaining it in a different way, I get the same Blah Blah Blah Ginger as I did the first time.

In addition to that, they have this excellent way of speaking quieter so that it's even harder for you to understand and speaking FASTER on top of it so that every single word is blended into one giant one.

How many times have you politely asked that someone tell you again but "mas despacio" (slower) this time because Spanish is not your first language? Lots I'm sure of it! How many times did they giggle in an understanding manner and say the first two words slowly to downright FOOL YOU before picking up the pace and metamorphosing into Speedy Gonzales of the mouth? You need not tell me. I KNOW the answer.

Growing up in Canada I was always around people who had English as a second language. I became an expert on anticipating their needs, or what they wanted to say and doing my best to help them out. If it means I had to jump around like a monkey to help them out, then I would do that. Heck, I still do that now so that people can understand me when I don't know how to say something in Spanish. I have no shame, it's all good.

Anyhow, I was also very good at reminding myself that if I said a big word like "supercalifragiliciousexpialidocious", that this newbie to the English language, might not know what it means, and I would try to explain it in a different way. Perhaps I would explain it like so: "It means, it's super, like special, and big, and tasty, and explosive and delicious". You see how I try? I am also guilty of changing up my English so it sounds like English is my second or third language you know, so it sounds like I'm the immigrant and not them. But I do it to help whomever it is I am trying to communicate with, understand. I'm kind that way you see.

Unfortunately, every little once in a while.....I will be challenge by the devil. He will try to make me eat the apple. I will not. I will prevail. I don't need your stinkin apples! I mean.......ahem...... wrong story. So yeah! He will try and make me not understand. But silly devil! I know that Trix are for kids and I have backup (friends that speak better Spanish than moi)!

So there you go. Independence and self sufficiency.....Down the tube!

Damn devils. Always out to get me and make me weaker!


Boo ya!

Oh. Sorry about the "scuddymunya".....I was trying to be devilish and use a word that I KNEW you wouldn't understand. How did I do? Did "Boo ya" throw ya off too? Wow. The things you learn from the devil. I tell ya.


  • At 5:56 PM, May 13, 2008, Anonymous lisaloveloca said…

    I thoroughly recommend learning things from the devil. Especially vocabulary words.

  • At 6:42 PM, May 13, 2008, Blogger CancunCanuck said…

    I agree with da Lisa, the devil has many fine things to teach.

    And oh do I getcha on the phone thing, it's particularly infuriating when I am trying to tell someone they have the wrong number but they just keep repeating their stupid request for someone who doesn't live here over and over and over again. When I really have to get something done on the phone, I make the first effort but if the person is a total doofus, I can at least pass the phone to Hubby and say "You deal with it". Usually he has the same problems with the idiots so it's not always a language barrier, but a pendejo barrier.

  • At 8:13 PM, May 13, 2008, Blogger JJ said…

    So here's MY issue: just about everywhere you turn up here is someone who has English as a second language. When the nail lady or the homebuyer or the gas station attendent says something in a very thick, very grammatically incorrect accent, I run with it. I try. And as broken as their English may be, I still get the gist of what they are trying to say. So why, I ask, is it not so much the same when I am at the Oxxo or perhaps in a taxi? Most of the times it's fine, but there are times when you say the same thing over and over and over again, you KNOW they're the right words, but they just want to F*** with me and then repeat it finally, as if to finally understand my pathetic Spanglish, by changing the emphasis to the "el" or some shit. Bastards. You don't have to tell me my Spanish sucks, I already know. Jerk.

  • At 9:34 PM, May 13, 2008, Blogger wayne said…

    But did you get your shoes?

  • At 10:48 PM, May 13, 2008, Blogger Jonna said…

    I know that devil, especially the phone devil and the bored clerk in the store devil. A pox on them.

    I remember back when I was a nasty little shit, like of course I'd never ever do this now, I would sometimes try and say things fast in english when someone had been particularly rude and I just wanted to you know talk smack about them and have them not understand. Well, at those times I discover that my entire vocabulary consists of short clear nouns and verbs and objects in that order that even a martian could understand - plus I suddenly can't speak english fast. But, if I am trying to be nice and say things that are easier to understand, then the only words that come to me are long, multi syllable get out the dictionary type words and/or highly idiomatic expressions only used by valley girls from Van Nuys Calif. Why is that?

  • At 7:45 AM, May 14, 2008, Blogger barry said…

    Boy for me, you sure hit the nail on the head with this one,,I have been trying to learn spanish here in El Paso for 1 yr in anticipation of a trip to PDC.. I may get by transmitting.. but my Spanish Reciever suxs royally and when I try to get the speaker to repeat slowly .. the same thing happens ,with the same result .Oh Well, maybe daily hearing the same phrases it might still be a "83 letter" word .. but the light will dawn over the palapa.

  • At 12:14 PM, May 14, 2008, Blogger Fned said…

    Some people are just assholes, regardless the language.


  • At 2:13 PM, May 14, 2008, Blogger Theresa in Mèrida said…

    I hate to speak on the phone here, it's my least favorite way of communicating. I speak passable Spanish but I just can't understand the words, it's like the are holding the phone so close the words are distorted or holding it so far away that you can barely hear them.

  • At 4:48 PM, May 14, 2008, Blogger Mexico Way said…

    Lisa - Oh good!

    Canuck - What is it with people that call you and pretend that they don't hear you? "WRONG NUMBER" doesn't mean you keep repeating some random person's name over and over again. It' means you say "OH SORRY" and you hang up!

    JJ - Maybe the whole purpose IS to fuck with you? What do I know!

    Wayne - Yes! One wobbles but I have them at least!

    Jonna - I'm really not sure. Perhaps you should seek a professional? I don't think I'm qualified. lol

    Barry - Welcome! I love the way you spell "sux" and the fact that you said "it sux royally". Excellent! Just excellent!

    Fned - I agree. This is why I have 3 pets!

    Theresa - I am quite familiar with what you are describing. Sometimes it helps if you scream at them and then smash the phone on the counter several times before hanging up. I know someone who did this. I think they felt better....

  • At 8:37 PM, May 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Smashing the phone on the counter does work wonders...not so much for comprehension...but it does a world of good releasing built up tension from trying to talk to morons on the telephone.

  • At 7:24 AM, May 16, 2008, Blogger barry said…

    Thanks Liz, nice to meet you too. Regarding the Phone business.. Here in El paso it's generally more a matter of persistant callers, and it goes like this. "Hello".."IS ROSA There?".. "No Sorry you have the wrong Number" seconds later .."Hello".. "IS Rosa there ?.. "No Sorry again,, you have the wrong Number" ...Click,,, 15 seconds later.."Ring" .. "HOLA!".. "ESTA ROSA alli?" ...and in your best Cheech Marin impression ..".Yea Bro , but like she is to Drunk to come to the phone".. you need to pull the phone away from your ear,,because it will be slammed shut while the caller is racing to the door with car keys in hand .. You hate to give Rosa a bad rap,, but sometimes being a little shit is the only thing that works.


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