Tuesday, September 30, 2008

El mercado

The market of my neighborhood.
El mercado de mi neighbohood.

Did you ever notice that the same thing that feels daunting or exhausting can also be fun and exciting with just a simple change in attitude? I'm not saying everything is like this, but I sometimes think more than what most people are willing to admit.

Yesterday, in addition to deciding to plough out of the metro, I also decided that I was going to stop beginning every Spanish spoken sentence with pardoning myself for my inability to speak much. The reality is it isn't a secret, in fact it is quite obvious once I try to get past the first or second sentence.

My first sentences are usually carefully planned and crafted so I might even sound like I speak better than I actually can, I'm not sure. But, if I start off saying apologizing for my inabilities one of two things usually happens. People either immediately get annoyed and treat me like an idiot (which I often feel like I am in Spanish... and I hate that) or they start speaking English to me. Now, the first one is helpful for instant gratification, in other words, they slow down, decrease the vocabulary, or just don't want to deal with me and start pointing themselves or something like that. I usually manage to get what I want, but don't get to practice speaking.

Secondly, people switch to English. I ALWAYS feel bad when a Spaniard makes the switch to talk to me. I mean really, when did I ever do that in my country.. well except for those two Guatemalan guys that helped out with the Len Ct. house when we first got it... they taught me a bit.. fuego.. fuego!!!.... Anyway, those very nice guys aside... obviously I didn't speak Spanish to the many Spanish speaking people in the community because I couldn't, but I willllllllll!!!!! I swear next time I am home I am going to El Dazante (from danzar the verb to dance) and I am going to sit and have a conversation over some delicious Mexican food (which is NOTHING like Spanish food for those who didn't know) with some of the many Mexicans that frequent the place.... I love that restaurant.

Fui el mercado. Vi Frutas, verduras, carnes, jamóns, juevos, quesyos, miel, pescados, mariscos, pastitas, pan, nueces y muchas más, fresca toda. Me mucho gusta el mercado de Rusafa. Yo hablé español e incluso conseguí elogios.... Ahora estoy feliz. !También fui a la oficina de correos y hablé solamente español, no inglés!!

To translate try....

Ok... It's not the best Spanish ever, but I am learning so I will make many mistakes and that's the way it is, not much I can do about it except accept it and move on.

PS... the TV goal has already failed... I hate the boob tube and can't deal. Going to try to conquer some newspaper articles during the commute instead or I guess mix the two. Jajaja.. I am always changing my mind....lol...


P.A. GIbbons said...

Yes, if you are mindful anything you do can be joyful. Remember every moment above the ground is a good one...for the most part.

Obama is right that every American should be fluent in another language. I can't stand that we are so egocentric in that most American's can't speak any other language well, unless they are from another culture.

Keep it up, smile, be your cute self, and that is THEIR problem if they get frustrated etc. They are probably frustrated people anyway, and it has nothing to do w/you.

hugs, patti o

Dad said...

It is good to learn that you are becoming more fluent. I am very proud of you.