Thursday, January 11, 2007

Studying Spanish in the Cafés (Ken)

The young Porteños are really great.
We go the the cafés and bars to do our UBA homework. Here is Helen getting help with her Spanish from Francisco, Lucas, and Mercedes.
We go at times when the restaurants are slow. Los mozos are not busy at that time. They see us with our books and cuadernos and take an interest. We ask them about conjugating verbs and the baffling "vos" form. Everywhere else in the the world uses "tu eres" for "you are" except for here. Here they use "vos sos." Y la professora insiste.
Another favorite spot to study is Pizza Cala a block up Junin. Paula, who is studying to be a cardiologist at UBA, tells us the names of things and explains the food on the menu. She was really happy that today she learned a new English word, "sick," and the English words "right" and "left."
They seem to really enjoy helping us learn their language.
The portero in my building, José Luis, also gets a kickout of saying "Good Morning" to us in English. That´s about it for him.
Oh, one more funny thing before I call it a night. . .
We went to Disco, that is the name of our local grocery store (no kidding, it really is), and when we went to pay, the cajero says, "¿Deesco Pluce?" Helen says, "Repite, pro favor," and he says, "¿Deesco Pluce?"
Helen shakes her head and says, "No entiendo." Just then, the woman behind us in line holds out a plastic card the size of a credit card. On it is printed: DISCO PLUS. It is their store discount card.
Just when I think we´re going to get away clean, they throw us a curveball.


Chas said...

"It jus' goes ta show ya: it's always sumthin." Imagine a porteno stepping up to a cashier in a Frederick Wal-Mart and hearing, "Hah, hair yew?" And then, "Thabby awe fyoodiday?" Must be maddening.

Ken and Helen said...

Charlie, every time I read one of your replies I laugh out loud.


Chas said...

Jus' doin' m'job, ma'am.

(Can you write a sentence in Spanish in which EVERY word contains an apostrophe? Hm?)

Lucia said...

ken: when you by ham, they will ask you: cooked or raw. (cocido o crudo). ana from Chicago.