February 11, 2014



Now, I don’t expect everyone to understand that. Unless you watch Dora with your grandkids. But hola is hello in Spanish. I am going to try to learn Spanish. And so far, it has been a somewhat challenging ordeal for a senior citizen who is not real proficient in the English language.
I decided to become bilingual on a spur of the moment deal. This ad kept popping up on Black Friday. Big sale on a language learning deal. At ten o’clock at night I jumped up and ordered it online. Only two hours till the deal ended. Well, like most spur of the moment deals, it didn’t go well. I couldn’t submit the order. So I submitted it again and again. Nothing. A couple days later I checked my credit card statement. I had ordered it three times. Instead of something over $300, I had spent a thousand. A thousand of Shirley’s hard earned dollars. It took a while to straighten that out.
Then the package came sans the needed code and any instructions. That took several threatening e-mails and turning Shirley loose on them. Then I finally got everything I needed. But my microphone wouldn’t work. Needed a computer expert to get me hooked up. Now I am ready. So on many mornings, you will find me talking Spanish to a computer in a dark room. I think this is found under the definition of insanity.
But I have been struggling along for a bit now. Then last week we hired a local firm to finish the tack room in our barn. And two Mexican gentlemen were sent to do the job. And a great job they did. Well, one afternoon when it was below zero and the wind whistling, I thought I’d better take them down a thermos of coffee to lessen the bitter conditions they were working in. And this would be a great chance to show off my Spanish.
“El hombres beben café?” I repeated it. They looked at me like I had gone off the deep end without learning to swim first.
I tried something different. They cocked their heads and stared at me. I spoke louder. Then louder yet. Maybe they were hard of hearing. It is a known fact that if you holler really loud people can comprehend better. I screamed “BEBEN CAFÉ.” They finally understood and graciously took the coffee from me. I think they were frightened.
Then they politely told me how to say what needed said in Spanish. I wasn’t even close. And the computer had listened so well and said I was doing wonderfully! Damn thing.
After this experience, I am going to be much more tolerant of all the visiting workers who struggle with their English. Comprendo?