3/10/10: Buenos Aires, Argentina
“Me puede avisar cuando lleguemos a Plaza de Mayo?
May… pway-day… avee-sar… quan-doh… yay-gay-mos… ah… Plaza day Mai-oh?
May pway-day avee-sar quan-doh yay-gay-mos ah Plaza day Mai-oh?”
Ok, that’s not too bad. I got this. First is when you receive your salary during the fifth month of the year. Then it’s the James Cameron blockbuster. Then it turns Chinese for a second, and I can remember the rest. The bus driver will surely understand that I’m asking him to tell us when we get to Plaza de Mayo.
We stepped on the bus at the airport and I readied myself for my big moment. Zhou moved past the driver so I had his sole attention. It was go time. “Hola! Me puede avisar cuando lleguemos a Plaza de Mayo?” Booyah! It went off without a hitch. Now all the driver had to do was nod or say “Si” or give me a high five or something and Zhou and I could sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Oh no! He’s talking back to me in full sentence form. Is he asking me a question? Is he telling me that he’ll do it but we won’t be there for a while? Good, he stopped. Oh, wait, now he’s talking again! I need to run.
I began nodding my head and I think I uttered a “Gracias” and maybe a “Buenos dias.” Heck, I was so caught off guard that I probably even threw in a “Dui bu qi” or a “Xie xie.” Fortunately my momentum was now taking me to a seat and away from the driver. I decided to assume that the Spanish for “Sure, no problem” is really complicated and takes a long time to say.
Wait, what if he really said “You fools are on the wrong bus. I plan on driving around in circles all day and you will never get to your stop. Bwa ha ha ha.”? He did look like a Super Mario fan after all. But it was too late now. We sat nervously and waited. And waited. And waited.
An hour and a half later, we were still on the bus. Fortunately, our driver had gotten off a long time ago and we agreed that he must have been explaining to us that he wasn’t driving all the way there. (Don’t worry, another driver had taken over; we weren’t just recklessly speeding down the freeway.) Also, we had the Buenos Aires map up on Zhou’s ipod and luckily figured out where we were. After another half hour the bus had turned too far off the path to Plaza de Mayo for our comfort, so we decided to hop off and walk to the nearest subway station. 30 minutes later, we had safely reached our hostel.
More importantly though, I am now batting 100% when it comes to speaking Spanish. I think.
Picture of the Day: Everybody wants to smell like Kevin.