Wednesday, November 21, 2007

1:ya viene la ola / 2:dons of the barrio

Part 1

dear family and friends,

in the future, when warning neighbors about possible tsunamis, take this advice:

1) do not throw open large metal gates apocalypse style- BOOM!
2) do not yell, "¡ya viene la ola!" (the wave is coming!) while waving arms frantically in the air.

these 2 actions put together, at 5am, send people into panic. also take note that at 5am, after being awaken rudely by someone banging on the door, it is quite difficult to process different languages. if you do not speak clearly, a foreigner might only hear, "¡blah blah blah tsunami, vamos Sarita!". finally, when said foreigner manages to mumble "huh?", do not point out the window to the hundreds of people running barefoot up the street carrying their babies and old people as proof.

yes, these are things NOT to do amid rumors of a tsunami. if you find yourself in this situation, look around to see if there are any officials in the streets directing the people- firefighters, police, marines, etc. if not, then you are probably a Peace Corps volunteer in a third world country on the coast and you have no idea what the hell is going on or why the stupidest things keep happening to you.

Part 2

all these people keep asking me when i´m coming back, so i can visit family, visit san antonio. and the people here ask me when i´m going home for christmas, for new year´s. i´m like, do you not listen to anything i say? i´m in ECUADOR; i am poooor, loan me $800 and i will fly 2000 miles home. love you, miss you! p.s. not all gringos are rich, thanks

last night i talked to my dueña, she said the sub is still mine. my boss comes tues!!! if my boss doesn´t approve it then i´m going to show her the one behind the sergeant´s store. it has really high ceilings and a nice courtyard. plus, it would be extra safe and extra cool to live with the sergeant and his wife.

they are like the dons of the barrio. you don´t mess with the sergeant and you don´t make fun of his fluffy little dog. the sergeant demands respect. even the sergeant´s 1 yr old grandson knows how to cobrar.

doña clarita is the little don of the barrio. she seems all nice and sweet, but she´ll sell you pintones without blinking twice. pintones are the verde that are on the verge of ripening, then they are maduros. fernanda bought $.25 of verde and the next morning it was all yellow. sometimes, if you´re not paying attention, doña clarita will "forget" to give you the cheese you just paid for.

yesterday we made friends with the ice cream lady, doña ella. she´s real brava, she has to be. her ice cream store is the biggest in esmeraldas, she´s right on the main street. people hustle outside, sell bootleg dvds, and the crazy people pass twice every hour. she sat at our table and said "don´t worry i don´t speak any english". jessi was having man problems and so doña ella helped out. she said that you cannot go after any "cualquier hombre". "no puedes andar con unos cualquieres" (you can´t hang around with riff-raff). it is my new second favorite esmeraldas saying. it replaces "diga" and comes second to "¡!".

diga is used as an affirmation.

ex. "ya le dije eso, ¿diga Fernanda? pero ella no me hizo caso"
"i told her that, didn´t i Fernanda? but she didn´t listen"
"hizo mucho calor ayer, diga" "it was hot yesterday, wasn´t it"

¡! is the best ever expression in the history of the world.
it has multiple uses. it is pronounced "beh" very quickly

ex. a little kid drops his cup of water "¡!"
someone unexpectedly shows up "¡!"
efréns daughter describes how once she had to eat iguana and it still had the green skin "¡!"
when someone tells you something stupid "vé vé vé vé vé"
a taxi honks for no reason "¡!"
someone tells you "ya mismo" "¡!"