My Spanish language skills suck. I mean, really, really suck. I’ve traveled a lot in Mexico and my poor, but I thought improving, Spanish got me by. I really hadn’t factored in the strength of Spanglish on both sides of the Mexico/US border. I am recognizing how much Spanglish holds its own amongst the MexAmericanos. We fill in the gaps for each other and transactions are fairly simple. Mexican Spanish is slow and well enunciated, which helps also.
Today I went out to buy a sim card for my cell phone. The original purchase of the phone and of a sim card and minutes in Durango, Mexico, was no real problem. Here there was a deep wall of incomprehension on both sides. It took about 30 minutes and a lot of kindness on the part of the young women selling the cards for me to succeed. But what I learned is that I need some real Spanish classes pronto. Imediatamente. Fast.
My second day in Medellin has been stressful. I woke to construction at 7 AM, after lingering over a book till 1 AM. I’m still exhausted from the trip. My good friend in Miami told me on Tuesday to not lose patience or heart with the challenges of living in South America. I sort of laughed it off and said I had lived for 14 years in Asia, yada yada. No, this is different. My false bravado has come up against a real challenge. It’s these times, with exhaustion, a new environment and a simple rudimentary grasp of the language that one has to dig deep and find courage. Or at least not wimp out.
If it weren’t for the internet and that connection with friends, and for my blog contacts, well, I suppose I would carry on, but it would be more difficult. I don’t want to find myself in an expat barrio, so now I have to soldier on.
Thanks for listening!