When we first started coming to Mexico, I promised myself I would learn Spanish. After all, I had plenty of open road driving to learn with CD’s. Sadly, I have spent “mucho dinero” on tapes, Cd’s and books. All of our native friends learned much better English from us, but I didn’t grasp a whole lot in return. I can get by if I have to. I learned a smile goes a long way in Mexico when you are looking for something and I have become quite good at drawing pictures of what I need. One of the local hardware stores actually lets me go behind the counter and pick out what I need.
In my early days in Rocky Point, I decided to be creative with some tile, so I went to the tile store and in my best Spanish said “si hable Espanol”, to which the polite young man said, “ I had better”. A Canadian neighbor told me that we lived by the “luz” meaning light. When I would tell people where we lived, they would just look at me and say mucho luz total ciudad. What I meant to say is we live by the “Faro” a light beacon. So live and learn. My doctor has a TransDoc on his computer, so no problem communicating there. When Sam’s Club opened up in Rocky Point, they had and really still have no American speaking clerks. A great deal of the customers are English only speaking, so sometime it is difficult. On one outing, I was trying to explain that we wanted a pork butt for smoking. Well, you can only imagine how that went. With some pointing and laughing, he got the message!
I am now covered by IMSS, Mexican Social Security, as I work here. Tuesday morning I went to the IMSS office only to find I had to go to the main hospital on the north end of the city. Arriving there was no problem, finding a parking spot a different story. I go into where I am suppose to go and give the lady my papers. She points to the window and now I get in line behind 10 people in my line. After 45 minutes of standing, it is now “show time” and I am up. I give the nice man my papers and my Immagrado (permanent residency) card and he pecks away at the computer. He asks if I speak Spanish and I say poquito (meaning a little)and I ask if he speaks English and he says nada (Nothing). By now the people behind me are getting amused so I turned and said “Lo siento por mi Español” meaning I am sorry for my Spanish and they all laughed. Things were still running pretty well until he asked me “direccion” which after he called a friend who spoke English, meant my address. I thought that was what he was asking but did not want to make a mistake. When it got to my phone number I was all ready. At any rate I am done except taking my picture back out there on Monday. Should be another fun morning.
When I go for coffee my coffee guys laugh and speak in both languages and then will ask me something and I say I don’t understand. What really gets them is I understand more than I want to speak. It’s more fun for them to realize I know what they are talking about so they have to watch what they say!
I must say, I am a believer in children learning a second language when they are young and are like little sponges. I grew up in Wisconsin and who would have ever thought I would have needed Spanish.
At any rate, I am still trying to learn. The people of Puerto Peñasco are so patient when they know you are trying to speak their language.
As always I say, come visit my home Rocky Point, Mexico and enjoy the people, the food and the views. We are the safest place to visit.