...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I´m just like Che Guevara!

...At least, inasmuch as Che Guevara rode a motorcycle in South America, and I, too, have now ridden a motorcycle in South America.

I know, right? I feel like now I should get a tattoo or start a revolution or something. The day before yesterday, I was trudging up the hill off of Agua Santa that leads to the apartment complex where I live when this guy on a motorcycle pulled up beside me. I was startled and by the time I realized it was Carlos, my host father, the first thing I could get out of my mouth was ´´Hey, how´s it going?´´ In English. Smooth, genius. Carlos was like, ´´What? Get on the bike, I´ll give you a lift.´´ And before I knew it, it was Zen and the Art of Riding Your Host Dad´s Motorcycle.

It was fun, and I didn´t die. Next time I´d want to wear a helmet, though.

***

Last night around 12:45 Carla and I were standing, talking, on the corner by her house, about a block up Agua Santa from Cafe Journal, the main bar for foreigners and students in this area. A Chilean-looking guy passed by us, then stopped, turned back, and asked us in accented English, ´´Do you speak English?´´ We couldn´t really deny it, because we had just been discussing something in English. ´´Are you American?´´ he persisted. Great! I thought. The typical Chilean pendejo who wants to use his fifteen words of English to harass the gringas. ´´I´m Australian!´´ he continued. ´´My parents are Chilean, but I was born in Australia. You have no idea how wonderful it is to hear people speaking English!´´ He asked if we were heading down to Journal, but we had just come back from the Piedra Feliz and were done for the night.

***

Last night Ambar and I were talking and I told her that I often feel embarrased using Chilean slang--your ´´po,´´ your ´´huevón,´´ your ´´cachai,´´ etc--because I don´t know if I´m using it correctly. She told me that I should try to get over my embarrasment and that if people laugh when I use slang words, it´s not that they´re making fun of me or that I´m using them incorrectly, it´s just that it sounds strange to hear them come out of a gringa´s mouth. Then she mimicked me, with my accent, saying the rough equivalent of ´´Hey, motherfucking asshole!´´ and I have to admit, it did sound pretty funny.