spanish for beginners.

i purchased a flight to san jose, costa rica. i will be in the country from december 21 to january 5, traveling solo by rental car, except for a couple days around christmas when i’m meeting my dad and sister at a resort on the pacific coast near liberia.

i’m going to let you in on a little secret, namely, i don’t quite know what i’m doing. i’m not particularly worried about navigating on poor roads or evading sticky situations, in and of themselves, but not being at all bilingual is disconcerting. i mean, i didn’t like montreal, in large part, because of all the french signs, so i’m not quite sure how i’m going to handle a predominantly foreign-speaking area that is outside my birth country.

i asked hector to tutor me since he’s the only spanish-speaking person i know1 and, also, he somehow has a larger english vocabulary than anyone i know2.

he was as helpful as he normally is.

hector: in costa rica i am sure you will be fine being a white man who speaks only english. half the country has been refurbished for you.

i think that if someone wants to scam you, language is not really an impediment.

just tattoo sida on your abdomen.

scott: see, you’re already trying to scam me.

hector: sida = aids

scott: so to turn english into spanish you just rearrange letters?

1 it was only a matter of time before my xenophobic heart let one of them in. it can’t be expected to be completely impermeable, like the borders of the united states.

2 i didn’t include myself. obviously.


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