Friday, July 5, 2013

Mimosas, one-digit numbers, and "el horno"

Hey readers, thanks for coming back! I will take a second here to apologize for my absence. The last few weeks have been full of family things, paperwork for the hubby to go to the U.S., the last two weeks of work (including a hilarious performance by my youngest students for their parents) and working for some friends. Needless to say my mind has been full of this and that (bits and bobs in the British)and I did not want to give you some half-assed post because that just ain't fair. (I thought I would throw in a little redneck with the British, just to even it out a bit..)

The results of the successful poll (thanks to the cool 10 of you that voted!) were: 7 for some current anecdotes and 3 for just the continuous story. Well...alright then! The three of you that want the continuous story will just have to wait a little bit longer... Suck it up, I know you want to hear about my wonderfully comedic disasters here. I know you do. And if you don't, well, too flippin' bad. 

Crap! I can't think of a story for you! Crap.. I think some wine would help, but it is 10:40am and I'm pretty sure that's a no-no. Unless it is a Mimosa. Or unless you are a 65 year old Catalan man sitting with a cigar at a bar having some sort of brown liquor on the rocks at 10am.. Which happens. A lot. Why can't I be 65 so I can have booze before noon? OK I'm just kidding and before I make my family worry about my drinking habits I will quit with the Mimosa talk. 

I still can't think of a story. There used to be a lot more before I got a stable job that I only really need English for. 

Like the time I was working at the airport for a cruise logistics company and I had to call the port agent to give her some cabin numbers. Basically what happens is some of the people who check-in for a cruise at the airport didn't plan it ahead so we have to call the port to let them know which cabin numbers the guests have so they can get their passes ready. Anyway, I never did the phone call because I was too embarrassed of my Spanish. But we got really busy and I was forced to make the call and I kid you not I gave her the cabin numbers one number at a time. I was in such a rush, and nervous, and 1000% embarrassed. It went something like this:

"Hola. Soy Em-i-ly del Air-o-puert-o"
"Ahhh hola que pasa?"
"Tan-go los noomeros"
"Vale dime"

And it went on like this for six, five-digit cabin numbers. Now normally my accent isn't too terrible and I can pass for at least comprehensible. And I can count higher than nine, you know, like two digit numbers and stuff. Not this time. I sounded like a two-year-old that was learning her numbers. 

By the time I started with the numbers I was already tomato-red with embarrassment. I stumbled all the way through the numbers and the port agent says,

"Oh and by the way, next time you can just tell me in English no problem!"

Fail. Epic and complete fail. She spoke English. Which I should have known. If that wasn't bad enough I hang up the phone and my colleagues, now finished with the rush of guests, BURST out laughing. They look at me and my supervisor says, amidst fits of giggles, "Emily, what the hell just happened?!? Normally you aren't that....bad!" And she continued to do a wonderful impression of my hasty numbers. And my colleagues when they finally could breath, "Ahhh Emily, I needed a good laugh, thanks!!!"

Never. Ever. Again. I never made that call again. Now you are all thinking (I am assuming from experience), "Oh Emily that is just a part of the learning process! Everyone makes mistakes, laugh it off!" And yes, that is absolutely true. But remember, I was at my job where I was supposed to be able to work effectively in Spanish and you know, resemble an adult. And when you sound like a two-year-old it is pretty tough to feel like an adult doing your job. Add that to the fact that ALL of my colleagues spoke at least three languages fluently (Spanish, Catalan, and English) and most of them spoke some French or Italian. I was slightly mortified. America for the win... Ugh! I spent the next months (and still do) cursing the fact that a second language isn't taught from Kindergarten like it is here and practically everywhere but the U.S. But alas, it is not, and I have had to fumble through learning Spanish and simultaneously Catalan. 

I'm not sure why I feel like I should put more of a "lesson" or conclusion to that story. There really isn't one. So if you want one..well make it up. 

It is about time for me to fumble through another encounter in Spanish as the stove technician is on his way. Hopefully I will be slightly less pathetic with my communication skills. At least I've worked out that "horno" is NOT the stove (I spent 5 minutes talking to the manufacturer calling the stove "horno" which is oven...duh). But now I can't remember what the stove is called...yay google translator to the rescue! 

See you soon!

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