Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dinner conversation

Every Monday night I have dinner with my local Spanish MeetUp Group. We simply have dinner and chit chat in general. Well, this time I took notes.

I mainly spoke with the esposa of the group's organizer. They haven't been married long, only a few months. So I asked her how she was enjoying married life - "vida de casada".

Now, prior to getting married, she lived in Mexico City (Cuidad de México or simply México), so naturally my next question was how she liked living in the US. She said she likes it here, but like anything else, it has its pros y sus contras (pros and cons).

She told me a little about la Cuidad de México, and I asked her where people from Mexcio City go on vacation. Apparently lots of people go to Acapulco. Other top spots are Guadalajara, Ixtapa, and I believe Veracruz. There were a few other places, but I didn't write them down. But the people with lots of money to burn come to the US - Miami, Orlando, New York, and surprisingly (at least to me), Houston. I asked her about her favorite vacation spot, and she likes to go to Ixtapa, because her family has a tiempo compartido (time share) there.

On a completely different subject, I learned a few ways to describe a womans dress - it can be a vestido largo (long dress), a vestido corto (short dress) a vestido ancho (loose fitting), or muy apretado or pegado - tight. And a mini-skirt is a minifalda.

Somehow we got on the topic of snacks. What really got my attention was the fact that she was speaking in Spanish and actually used the word "snack". I said "isn't this Spanglish? " But much to my surprise, she told me "snack" is a very commonly used word in Mexico. Other words for "snack" - botana, but you'll only hear this one in Mexico, and colación.

We got into a discussion about the difficulties of learning certain things in Spanish. I said that one of the things I find muy cunfuso (very confusing) is when to use the preterite and imperfect tenses, which then led to another confusing subject, ser and estar. I then proceeded to tell her my meta (goal) was "estar bilingüe", and she promptly pointed out I that my goal is to "ser bilingüe". Further confirming her comment about ser and estar being confusing.

I also didn't realize I was going to be tested on my abecedarios. If that word doesn't sound familar, then you might recognize this one - el alfabeto. While I was able to recite my ABC's, I had to confess that I (still) can't trill my R's. I was also disappointed to learn that there's no alphabet song in Spanish.

Speaking of alphabets, in Spanish when you have two of the same letters that appear next to each other, you say "doble (letter)". E.g. to spell the word "letter", you would say " elle, e, doble te, e, ere". To say "...te, te..." is oh so wrong.

The last thing I have to share is about the cheesecake I ordered. Being a kind and gentle soul (and more importantly, not wanting to get fatter), I shared with my new amiga. And by sharing, I mean I attempted give her more than her fair share. But like any polite person, as the size of the cheescake dwindled, she wanted me to enjoy the last few bites. So, when I tried to insist that she take yet another bite, she told me an interesting dicho - the cheesecake "es probete, no llenete". Which means something like "you're just supposed to taste it, not fill up on it". Now, not being the type to give up (I was determined not to eat those extra calories), I told her a dicho I was familiar with "come uno, comen diaz". That means if there's food for one, there's food for ten. In other words, it may be a small portion, but we can still share it. While it was indeed a witty comeback, I still ended up eating the extra calories.


  1. Thank you for the 'Can't trill my r's comment. I am reading your blog from the beginning and hope to hear that you learned how eventually as I can't either.....;-)

  2. Donde come uno, comen dos