Talk the Talk

I’ve been mulling this over.  I can tell that I am learning more Spanish, because it is no long just about surviving.  I don’t carry my dictionary with me anymore.  And I can usually get my point across with a combination of body language and words.  Take last night, for instance.  I took the taxi to the home of the girl I tutor.  I knew before I got there that the guy was going to ask more than was normal.  Sure enough.  And I got all feisty on him before you could blink an eye.

Now though, I find myself listening to expressions and filing them away with a great desire to use them.  Claro!  Clearly!  Que bonito! How pretty! Que padre! How cool! This goes a bit beyond Ay, bueno!  Also cute and so desirable is the ability to stress the importance of an item.  Muchisimo!  I just found out that you can do this with size and color too!  Grandisimo!  My favorite change to words with size is when -ito or -ita is added to a word.  Pastelito was used today to describe a little cake.  I´ve decided that I need to make sure my kids have good names that I can use this on: Josito, Adrianita, etc.  Of course, gordita can totally be used too…

On Tuesday, my taxi driver was younger than usual.  He was a normal nosy Mexican–asking how long I lived here, how long I would stay, and of course, do I have a husband.  “No,” I explained, “I have a Chiapaneco for a boyfriend.”  “Que suerte!” (How lucky!) he kept saying, but I just chalked it up to another Mexican expression.  He asked about the other girls from the States.  Do they have eyes as pretty as mine?  Oh, much prettier, I assured him.  Shortly before I arrived at my destination, he mumbled a handful of words and touched his little dimple on his cheek.  I made out beso and got the idea.  He was asking to kiss me! (I wish I knew how to say, “How bold!”) Kisses on the cheek are nothing special here, and what do you say?  Then it progressed.  He wanted a kiss on the lips.  That is where I drew the line.  If you give a Mexican man man an inch, he wants a mile.  Que suerte indeed…  I couldn’t accept the free ride he offered either–I know how much those guys make and pay for the taxi business.

Today was the cutest:  I was reading the kids this book about a fish with fingers.  (Obviously, this is quality literature…)  The fish saves the day when he gives a “hairy, scary monster” a haircut.  Immediately when the “monster” is uncovered, and a cute seahorse is under that mop of hair, a student yelled, “Ahhh!  Que bonita!”  A chorus of “How Beautifuls” followed.  Apparently, I am not the only one that wants to use these expressions…  Ay, que bueño!

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