Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You can't say that in Spanish. Oh wait, maybe you can in Mexico

I'm "reporting" live from the airport in Mexico City. The Mexico City airport, if you will. Jeff assured me that it was horrible and confusing and poorly signed. I would have to agree, as I walked around with my second boarding pass in hand for a solid 15 minutes trying to figure out where to go while everyone I talked to instructed me to stand on lines that had nothing to do with me. And you know, it's not like I don't speak the language.

Except that on the juice they served on the plane, it said, "sin conservadores" which I'm sure means without preservatives, careful on this one, perserverativos is not your word here, in Chile we say conservantes. Conservadores sounds like there are no conservative people in your juice, which is, I suppose, just as well. They say too many fascists spoil the juice.

They don't?

Well, they should. Is anyone writing this down?

In other language news, I have been gifting my signature left and right. Anyone who wants it has to ask for it like it's an autograph, as though I were famous, which, despite a long-ago neighbor having narrowed down what continent I live on by having seen an article I wrote which she said just “sounded like me,” I am not. Maybe someday. In the meantime, anyone wishing to pretend that people really want their signature are advised to visit Mexico. I seem to recall they did the same thing to me in the Dominican Republic. Made me feel famous, that is. (regalame tu firma, they say, gift me your signature). As though that scribble were worth something. Way to grow my ego like a chia pet. The ram, not the head.

Also, what in the world is jicama and why is it so delicious with chili powder on it, and who translated the jerky sign from carne deshebrada (shredded meat) to read: crushing, 500 grams? 500 grams is not very crushing, unless you are an arthropod. And even if you're one of those, like the frighteningly huge spider I woke up to staring at me a few summers ago sleeping in a shelter in the Amazon, a package of meat a whisper heavier than a pound probably wouldn't do you too much harm.

Can you read how sleepy I am? Lucky for me I have another 5 hour flight. I'm just glad I don't have to do that for the viaje redondo (this is really what they say for "round trip" in Mexico. Don't try literal translation at home kids, that should be ida y vuelta. And call me conservative, but this word-for-word replacement is really crushing.

5 comments:

Sharon said...

I always thought it was "sin preservantes" or is it some weird mexican thing?

. said...

I totally made the perservativos mistake the other day. I know it's wrong, but I was so tired I couldn't think around it. Got a good laugh out of T as he pictured baby food with condoms in it.

We were also talking about the different things that our Chileans who've been in the states for a long time accept, presumably bc of their contact with spanish speakers from countries that accept more Spanglish words. Recently, we've heard "freezar" and "parquear" come out of their mouths without a blink. Also, the more questionable "Esta cocinado"... that one I can not explain.

Margaret said...

I laughed out loud at the idea of not having conservatives in your juice... (were you sitting on the left side of the plane?)

Bystander said...

I wouldn't dream of calling you conservative. I might have to try to stuff you in a tetra pak!

Kyle said...

Mmm, I actually happen to like fascists in my juice (and soup).