March 30, 2009

Pet names and more

I confess I've been lazy. Half the reason I'm here is to learn Spanish, so it's time to download old Shakira tracks, to chat up the night watchman and the kid at the tienda, and to flip flashcards until those pesky irregular verbs stick to the roof of my brain (Sigh. I miss Turkish grammar). Progress reports to come, but for now, some recently acquired vocab.

mi amor
my love
mi peqeño my little one (possibly only used by me)
mi cariño my affection (ditto)
mi enamorado my lover
mi novio my boyfriend
besos kisses
Te amo I love you
Me quieres? Do you love/want me?
Cuanto? How much?
encontrar to meet
chismear to gossip
separarse to break up
retomar la relacion to get back together

March 26, 2009

Submissions Deadline April 1st

Quick, my artsy friends!

One Cool Word is a Vancouver-based magazine. It likes all kinds of writing, art, and music, plus genres that don´t fit into those. Issue #13 is running at us, so if you´re a Vancouverite with creative loving to share, then please share.

Don´t be intimidated. Just click the link, figure out how to send your love (it´s easy), and wait a little while. You could be famous and beloved by all staffers at OCW, including yours truly.

Now, back to the vacation!

March 20, 2009

Tengo vacaciones!

Tomorrow I'm sailing from San Cristobal (on the right)

to Santa Cruz (in the middle)

and then onward to Isabela (on the left)

with this one

and this one

to see this

and these

It's all so exciting. See you in a week!

March 19, 2009

Oh no you didn't.

que chucha dices? what the fuck are you saying?

hablas huevadas
you're full of shit

andate a la mierda go to hell (lit. go to the shit)

cara de verga penis face

vales caca you're worth shit

You have no idea how handy these are around town and at the bar. People laugh so hard. Care to share your favourite Spanish trash talk?

March 15, 2009

Have a friend-filled week.

My mind evaporated at some point and left a salt plain of Zen. Now there are fewer thoughts, but they are stronger. For example, I can see why in two months I haven't cried, shouted, complained at length, or displayed any other signs of culture shock or homesickness. It's not the wildlife or the relaxed schedule, though those help, but rather the acquaintances and friends who emerged from the start, both gringo and local.

Yesterday, right after David took this photo of me, he and I went to the beautiful Puerto Chino beach with his sister Belen, Belen's son Franco, Belen's boyfriend Jorge, our friend Andres, and my best girl friend here, Josefhin. Franco sat on my lap when we drove back across the island at sunset, cruising through the dewy highlands with the windows open. Franco pointed out vacas and I thought about how easily the day had flowed through my fingers without a book or a phone or an iPod or any other things. The friends were the only necessity.

And, speaking of friends, I have two special ones on their way from Canada. Estoy esperando, chicos.

March 12, 2009

Tiger what?

It's all fun and games and Jaws jokes until people go surfing in front of the university and spot a two-metre tiger shark. What the hell! Just yesterday I swam out to the boats and back. In fact, I had just finished reading Green Eggs and Ham to the two little German girls I'm tutoring with a "vamanos a la playa!" and we had rushed outside, them to swim and me to surf.

Instead, we stood on the rocks with the crowd and waited for another shark sighting. I caught a glimpse. Apparently it's the effect of the full moon, bringing weird tides and beasts. I don't know when safety returns exactly. This is an island--we have to swim! Maybe I'll just test the waters every morning with a baby sea lion.

March 11, 2009

Esta noche

es luna llena



Eating out in San Cristobal means:

fried fish
fried chicken
fried beef
fried plantain

Which is why I have started cooking again. The woman who weighed my dried chickpeas at Dos Hermanos asked what I planning. She used them for a foot scrub, I think she said. I tried to explain hummus in Spanish. En otros paises...como pure...con sal y [holding up my olive oil and garlic]...[mashing gesture]...con limon, pero es una otra cosa como limon--mas grande y amarillo... How do you explain lemons to someone who's only seen limes? She held up a yellow lime. "Lemon?" No, still a lime.

She caught up to me at the till to ask more about this strange pure. It was exciting to talk about food from other countries, especially because people here never talk about the world beyond the island. My students ask me nothing about Canada or Saudi Arabia, though they know I lived there. Hooray for chickpeas for prompting a little mental flight.

March 7, 2009

Have a wicked weekend.

It's been a surf-crazy week here. Between all the French and German wave-hunters, the big swell, and the arrival of the #1 ranked surfer in Ecuador (Mario, aged 22), you can't help but learn the vocabulary.

surfista (surfer)
surfear (to surf)
tabla de surf (surf board)
olas (waves)
marea (tide)
rocas (rocks)
tiburon (shark)

I guess it's infectious, because on Wednesday I paddled out on a borrowed board and began my Galapagos surf education. It was great not needing a wetsuit, but the rocks--which exist at almost every beach--scare me. The exception is Porto Chino, the white sand beach on the other side of the island. I'm borrowing another board and taxi-ing there in an hour. Last night the surfista Mario shouted that he would come with, but it was at the end of a bottle of rum. Vamos a ver.

March 3, 2009

Vive la frances!

Hung out with my new French friend Isabella today. Thanks to totally useless high school French and English, we had to stick to Spanish, the best common denominator. A few words I kept remembering in French, though, so she helped me with traducciones.

trouver (encontrar / to find)
voudrais (quisiera / I would like)
tais-toi! (callate! / shut up!)

I swear I wasn't telling Isabella to shut up. I needed the Spanish version for certain social situations, and the mental scarring from being told to shut up by my 11th grade French teacher means I know it all too well in French. Oh, frances.