Well, here’s a good lesson everyone should know. Don’t believe everything you hear. Or likewise, don’t take everything people say to heart. I’ll get to my point later in this post.
Not much to update this week. I’m rather into a routine at this point and since I stuck around for the weekend to do some things on my computer and to rest my voice, I don’t have much new to say.
I have a new girl in my Spanish class now, but still there’s only 2 of us and that’s way better than 6. She’s super cool though and knows just the tiniest bit more than me to where it’s helpful rather than harmful. I wish she’d be staying longer than 2 weeks! But I won’t mind if I have more private classes. I really get the most out of those. But I never know when more people are going to be in my class or no.
Monday I skipped work because my voice and cough were still just too much to be returning to teaching, even though I took a vow of silence on Saturday and a lot of Sunday and hid from people so I wouldn’t talk too much. José invited me to go dance again, but I sadly had to turn it down AGAIN. I thought it was sweet of him to ask how I was doing though.
Tuesday was rather uneventful, aside from a special house guest. I got to meet with my tandem partner for double time in the morning and she helped me find some headbands so I could cover my nasty greasy hair that hadn’t been washed in a week. I can officially say that I’ve gone a week without showering (Ok, ok. I KIND of showered Friday, but didn’t wash my hair. So it was a week of not washing my hair and 4.5 days without showering). Grossed out? Yeah. Well, come try to take an ice cold shower (yeah, the shower broke again) when you’re sick. Haha. Don’t worry, I showered Wednesday though. I used the family’s bathroom because that shower is working.
Of course, everyone should know by now what I did on Wednesday. My favorite day of the week here. Work, then a long shower, then get pretty, then go to class, then off to salsa with mi vida (I love that teacher more and more each week. He is my absolute favorite.) And then, as usual, off to Rainbow Café for open mic night. This week the class was really full again! How abnormal. Perhaps they are advertising better. There were enough guys again too! I could be okay with this. But it is still a bit boring learning the basics. We learned a new spin this week though so that’s exciting, but I still don’t quite understand it (unless I’m dancing with a pro, obviously). I made a new friend in Salsa class who’s name, I think, is Kevin (but he’s still a Guatemalteco) who said we should go dancing one night.
Hell yeah, we should go dancing. I’m going to be a pro when I come home as long as my health sustains enough to go out more often! Now I have José and Kevin AND mi vida (my teacher haha) to go dancing with.
In Rainbow, I finally got Kenny’s number now too. More amigos for me! I also met a guy named Rodrigo who sang AMAZINGLY and we exchanged numbers as well. I’m on a roll for making local friends this week! I won’t lie, it’s kind of fun being the person who knows the most Spanish in my house. I know now how Madison must have felt before. I feel important and special and everyone always seems so impressed, even though I know how little Spanish I really know. The girls from my house were at Rainbow with me, but I’ve been making an effort to talk more to locals. I still talk to them, but the real fun part was this: they were all thinking how great this guy sings and how cute he is and since we sat near the stage, I just called him over to tell him he had a nice voice and voila, now we’re friends. He has a perfect English accent and I actually thought he was a traveler since I hadn’t seen him before, but he’s actually Guatemalan. He just teaches English so that’s why his accent is so good. I wish I could keep this outgoing and confident side in real life. There’s just something about travel….
“When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” -William Lewis Trogdon
It’s true. It’s somehow easier to let loose and become your true self while you are traveling because it’s almost like getting a clean slate. I am on a mission to figure out how to be this way in real life too. Madison, I know, experienced this when she was here as well, as we talked about this, and I understood her completely. It’s some different attitude you seem to naturally adopt when you travel for a long enough time. I love my outgoing self and obviously so do other people or I wouldn’t be making new friends. I’m working on keeping this back at home too. There shouldn’t be anything different to be afraid of! Now I have 4 local people to hang out with and I hope we start hanging out soon. Since my voice is better enough to at least chat (but still can’t sing) and my cough has reduced to only at night time, I will be going out with José to dance tonight! This will be my first official hang out with a Guatemalteco in somewhere other than Rainbow Café! Excitement!
Kenny invited me to the fair last night for the Día de la Asunción de la Virgen which is a special day in Guatemala City and Jocotenango, but he didn’t call til 10:30 so I unfortunately had to turn that down because I had to work this morning. One of these days, I’m going to be able to survive on 5 hours of sleep. I hate missing out on things because my immune system sucks at life. I’m sure we’ll have another opportunity to hang out, but how fun would a fair in another town have been? Bah.
But at least I got to have another private lesson in Spanish yesterday because the girl went to Pacaya for the day. I got to show Willy all my photography from last semester and learned a bunch of new words about photography that I am probably going to forget rather quickly haha. There’s so much to absorb vocabulary-wise; I just can’t keep up!
Ahora, voy a mostrar cuanto español yo he aprendido. He aprendido mucho en solo cinco semanas. He aprendido casi todos los diferentes conjugaciones del verbos y si tengo tiempo para pensar, puedo entender mucha gente si hablan despacio. A veces, puedo entender cuando algunas personas hablan rápida. ¡Es loco! Nunca he pensado que podría hablar tanto español. Todavía tengo mucho para aprender. A veces me equivoco mucho y es posible que me equivoqué aquí en este párafo, pero solo usé el diccionario dos veces y no usé Google Translate nada. Tu puedes usar Google Translate para traducir este párafo, pero a veces Google Translate está equivocada con la traducción. Es posible me equivoqué la ortografía o accentos o posible usé la palabra incorrecta, pero estoy orgullosa de cuanto español ya he aprendido. Un chico en el mercado me dijó que mi español es muy bien cuando fui a comprar una película para mirar en español. Rodrigo, José, y mi intercambio Lilly me dijeron que mi español es muy bien también. ¡Que dulce! Creo que es porque mi pronunciacion esta bien, pero es un cumplido muy simpático para mi. A mi, me gusta mucho español, pero a veces prefiero mi cultura y idioma porque es muy diferente aquí. Tengo miedo de decir algo incorrecto y doy un mala impresión a alguien.
In case you are too lazy to use Google or if Google messes up…. This is what I meant to say:
Now, I am going to show you how much Spanish I have learned. I have learned a lot in only 5 weeks. I have learned almost all the different conjugations of verbs and if I have time to think, I can understand many people if they speak slowly. Sometimes, I can understand when some people speak fast. It’s crazy! Never have I thought I would be able to speak this much Spanish. I still have a lot to learn. Sometimes I mess up a lot and it is possible that I messed up in this paragraph, but I only used the dictionary two times and I didn’t use Google Translate at all. You can use Google Translate to translate this paragraph, but sometimes Google Translate is wrong with the translation. It’s possible that I messed up the spelling or accents or possibly used the incorrect word, but I am proud of how much Spanish I have already learned. A guy in the market told me that my Spanish is very good when I went to buy a movie to watch in Spanish. Rodrigo, José, and my tandem partner Lilly told me that my Spanish is good as well. How sweet! I think it’s because I pronounce pretty well, but it is a very nice compliment for me. I like Spanish a lot, but sometimes I prefer my culture and language because it is very different here. I am afraid to say something incorrect and give someone a bad impression.
(If there’s someone out there that does speak Spanish better than me, you are welcome to send me a message and correct my errors. I appreciate being corrected, as I don’t want to speak improperly for the rest of my life.)
Why am I afraid? Well, their culture is different. As you’ve seen in other posts, the expressions we use don’t translate the same in Spanish. Also, since I really don’t know that much Spanish, I can easily misinterpret or say something wrong. Here I will get back to the point of my first paragraph. Isolina is a bit overprotective of us and since I take things so literally, I really take it seriously when she tells me to be careful how I talk to boys etc. etc. But, as I have asked many people and experienced a few things and talked to my tutor, I have found that it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Just trust your gut, as you would in the States. You just have to be a little extra careful since your gut can’t understand the language all the time. But, people mess with each other here just like in the States and I’m not going to get raped just because I teased or smiled at some guy. Therefore, don’t believe everything you hear or read. It’s generally going to be an exaggerated version of the truth.
My story to go along with this? It’s rather funny. My gut has told me the whole time that José is a gentleman and wouldn’t think of hurting me in any way. For this, I have not had any concern about the thought of going out dancing with him. I even asked if he could walk me back from Rainbow the other night because it’s not safe to walk alone and my housemates left early. Before I could even finish explaining, he said “con mucho gusto” (with much pleasure). He brought me mints last week when I was sick and has texted to see how I’m doing and hasn’t given up (like some guys do that just want something from you) on hanging out with all the times I’ve had to say no (since I’ve been sick).
However, this all changed for a split second yesterday when my Spanish translating skills (and his lack of punctuation and good grammar) confused me. He sent me a text about going out to dance last night or tonight and at the end, wrote “Quieres salir conmigo esta noche puedo recojerte y dejarte despues en casa quieres ;)” How did that translate to me? “Do you want to go out with me tonight? I can pick you up and bring you back to whatever house you want. ;)” In America, I’m pretty sure that equates to “Your place or mine?” in a half-joke to try to have sex with someone.
I thought, “Oh shit. That’s not what I wanted when I gave out my number or asked you to walk me home!” Ah, but I am not finished. Because I thought I understood, I quickly proceeded to send a message explaining that I’m still learning Spanish and sometimes I mess up and say things improperly and I just want him to know that I am only looking to make friends and go dancing, nothing more. But because I was still confused, I decided to push aside the embarrassment and tell Isolina what he sent me. Isolina proceeded to say that his grammar is bad and the message is punctuated improperly and he meant to say “Do you want to go out with me tonight? I can pick you up and bring you back to your house. Do you want to?” Or “Do you want to go out with me tonight? I can pick you up and bring you back to your house if you want.” The wink face probably meaning he was messing with me about Wednesday night when I asked if he could walk me home.
Well, I’m sure you can imagine how silly I feel now and how embarrassed I was to send him a message explaining that I just want to be friends when he was never implying that he wanted to be anything more. Hahahaha.
Therefore, I am back to my original belief that he is a sweetheart and will be a good friend to me. And the moral of this story is, like I said at the beginning, don’t believe everything you hear. Because I have heard so much about guys here trying to get tourist girls to sleep with them, I quickly jump to conclusions even when I don’t fully understand what someone is saying to me. If I had not asked Isolina what he really meant to say, I could have thrown away a perfectly good friend in fear that he’d try to take me away and have his way with me.
And now, off to class, then to dance with my caballero.
(I love how I say I don’t have much to update, but my post ends up being a book anyways. My b.)