Thursday, July 14, 2011

stick em' up!

I’m taking some Spanish lessons here in Rio. Yes, they speak Portuguese here, but people, I have GOT to learn Spanish. It’s #2 on my life list and kinda the bane of my existence. What else do you call something you want so badly, but no matter how you try, you can never muster up the slightest commitment to achieving?

I’m trying to stay positive about this latest attempt and since my teacher is so nice and I like having somewhere to be a couple days a week, I’ve yet to come up with my excuse as to why I just CAN’T continue with my lessons. Yet.

I’m thinking it will also help me out a little here since Portuguese and Spanish have a ton of similarities, some words being exactly the same. Our Spanish speaking friends get by pretty well here and most Brazilians know some Spanish.

That’s your background for this story…

So, yesterday I needed to get the laundry together, but needed a laundry bag. I always put up the “do not disturb” sign in the evening, but kept it off so I could catch the turn-down service lady and get one. Keep in mind, I’ve just come back from said Spanish lessons so I’m in that “Oh, I’m totally going to be able to speak this language! I should put on some Gipsy Kings!” kind of mood.

Our conversation is as follows:

Me (opening door): “Hola.” (Portuguese uses this as well)

Nice turn-down service lady: “Hola. Blah, shouw, blah, mouw, mouw, blah, shmouw, blah.” (Portuguese has this very distinctive “ouw” sound that I love)

Me: “Um, can I have some water, agua? Also I need a laundry bag.”

Nice turn-down service lady (handing me water): “Sim.” (that means yes)

Me (making what I think is a bag shape with my hands): “Obrigada. Also a laundry bag.”

Nice turn-down service lady: “Shouw, mouw, blah, shouw.”

Me (still making shape with hands): “A bolsa.”

Nice turn-down service lady (cocking head at me): “Bolsa?”

Me (thinking- oh yeah, I’ve got this now): “Sim! Bolsa!”

Nice turn-down service lady (still cocking head at me): “Bolsa?!?”

Me (still making shape with my hands and speaking slowly : “Sim, sim- bolsa. Bolsa…bol-sa.”

Nice turn-down service lady (looking very concerned): “Bolsa???!!!???”

Me: “Sim! B…o…l…s…a.”

Nice turn-down service lady (pretending to dial and answer phone): “Cero..Cero”

Me: “Um, okay.”

She leaves and I’m trying to figure out what her problem was and why she didn’t give me the dang bag. Does she not have them on her cart? Seriously, I’ve got to call down to the front desk for a bag? Then I think…"Bolsa…that’s bag, right?”

I pull out my Spanish-English dictionary…

bolsa- purse or handbag

Apparently “bolso” is a bag and “bolsa” is a purse.

So, yeah…

I was trying to rob the turn-down lady.

No comments: