...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, October 27, 2005

Ambar: quite a character

When Ambar, my host mom, gets in a chatty mood, she can be hilarious. She´s very opinionated, teaches me a ton of Chilean slang, and is great to talk to. The other day we were talking about this Chilean slang expression, andar a lo gringo. (This is where J.Lee and Riana start laughing.) Andar a lo gringo literally means ´´to walk around like a gringo (North American)´´ but is used to mean ´´to go around without underwear.´´ The origin of the phrase is a mystery to me; I don´t think we gringas are any more likely to, well, andar a lo gringo than a Chilean, but apparently before the family started hosting North American students, Ambar always thought that it was a statement rooted in fact.

Ambar: The first time we did Emily´s (their first host student´s) laundry, I was like, ´´Hey! She´s got panties in here! This gringa does not andar a lo gringo!´´ And I told Maria (our nana, or nanny/cook/maid) about it, and she was like, ´´I know! What´s up with that?´´ I was so surprised to find out. And since then, I´ve noticed that both Julie and you also wear panties. I have noticed, though, that you gringas don´t wear bras.
Me: Well...I always wear a bra.
Ambar: Really?

A little later, we started talking about Bill Clinton. Ambar detests George W. Bush (she didn´t agree with the war, and thinks he has a ´´devious face´´), but she was a big fan of Clinton. In regard to the sex scandal, she said she couldn´t care less about what goes on in his personal life and all that huevada (´´shit,´´ and pronounced weá) and initially seemed very critical of Monica Lewinsky, blaming her for the scandal, etc. Then, a few minutes later, she refined her position.

Me: At this time last year, I was knocking on doors trying to convince people to vote for Kerry.
Ambar: Oh, Kerry. I forgot he even existed. Not like Al Gore...or Clinton. (Pronounced Cleeeen-tohn, and accentuated by some suggestive wiggling of the eyebrows.)
Me: You...found Clinton attractive?
Ambar: What woman wouldn´t? Tall, charismatic, very good-looking...Jessica, the problem was never that Monica Lewinsky chupó a Clinton. The problem was that she told the whole world about it! If I were in her situation, I would have done the exact same thing. I just would have kept my mouth shut afterwards!