Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's the little things.

A couple of interesting experiences from the last few days…

Scene One:

I was in my local Mexican hole-in-the-wall. It’s the kind where it’s clean and colorful inside, with a television always on a Spanish speaking station – that day’s show was “El Gordo y La Flaca” (the fat and the skinny). The food is truly authentic to the point that during the time I was in the restaurant for a quick lunch, easily twenty Hispanic people either dined in or took out. I was, in fact, the only white person there. That is until The Grannies.

Just as I was finishing up my amazing fish taco and horchata, three older ladies entered. One of them charged in yelling “HOLA” (she pronounced it hoe-lah). The other two scurried up behind as she said in one of the worst gringo accents ever, "¿Cómo estás?" The cook/owner kindly responded in simple Spanish, but it seemed those three words were about the extent of her Spanish vocabulary.

I went about the business of devouring more of the taco when bits of the continuing conversation wafted my way. She was explaining to her two companions what a burrito is and what a taco is. Now here in California, well, you’re just sort of born with that knowledge. Like knowing your cheeses if you’re from Wisconsin. It’s just the way of [your] world.

Still, I ate on. But I was again sucked in when one of the followers said in a British accent, “Guacamole,” (pronounced something akin to that amusement center game “Whack-a-Mole”), “that’s made with avocados, yes?” When the answer came in the affirmative, she said, “I’ll have this.” She then points to an item on the menu which is on the wall outside of the kitchen. So the person taking the order had no idea what she was referring to and just looked utterly dumbfounded when none of the three offered a further explanation as to what “this” was.

Well, that was pretty much it for me, I mean I’m sure they said and did loads of other funny things before they took their seats, but frankly I got the giggles. The three Mexicans at the next table looked at me… sitting alone… laughing... but I was giggling too hard to explain, so I vaguely gestured toward the ladies and just kept looking the fool. It was worth it. I was sorry I was done and had to be off.

Scene Two:

I was walking in the park again today. Third day in a row, fourth this week, so I’m feeling really good about it. Sunday is obviously more crowded than the other days (even Saturdays, actually). I’ve recently learned this breathing technique to do, and it’s especially good when walking. Without getting into it, I’ll just say it involves intaking all your air through your nose. Being spring, over the last few days this has been delightful. It’s a large park with a lake, and I walk the whole of it, so there are loads of lovely, fresh smells with everything blooming.

I was about two thirds of the way through the walk when, in the traffic of people on the trails, walking toward me were a man and a lady. Now, I must confess I don’t have any idea what the guy looked like because my eyes went straight to the lady’s fake boobs. They couldn’t help it, my eyes. Now, this lady was dressed like someone from Beverly Hills would dress if they were pretending to workout – all high end clothing, none of which would actually hold up to any real excerpted activity, and no actual bra underneath her purple designer spandex-with-spaghetti-strap top (yet oversized-boobs-on-tine-body are fixed in place). Her hair is big, and she’s even holding a designer water. Yet, somehow if it weren’t for the boobs, she’d not look so obviously over-done. Of course, with the exception of the boobs, having only had a glance, none of this processed until I'd passed them.

But the passing was the thing, because when I did I happened to be doing one of those big intake breaths… you know, through the nose. I sputtered and coughed, my eyes started watering. I was choking on the cloud of perfume in which she was encased. This also made me laugh – and I thought for sure I’d be found out as to why, so without really being able to breathe I rushed forward. Once breathing again commenced, I was chuckling for a while, because seriously it was an intensely pungent fragrance. I got to my turn-around point on the dam, back in the groove of the rhythm of exercise. As a turned a corner down the way a bit, there they were again. Luckily this time I could see them coming from a ways off, so I could make sure to be breathing OUT when I passed. But I still laughed.

Scene Three:

I was helping someone out with their start-up business, and ended up driving an hour away to babysit both Friday and Saturday. They were for about four hours each. It was fun (the work, not the commute); the girl is really cute. This business provides you with a basket of fun, mostly learning-related, toys and games. Yesterday, amongst other things, we built a wooden model of the skeleton of a brachiosaurus, played the memory game, and I painted her face. She loved it all, but especially the face painting.

With about ten minutes before I was scheduled to leave, she really wanted to do something from my basket of goodies again, but I explained that I was going to have to leave soon. She started crying and said she wanted her mom. Her mom, who had returned and was working in the next room, automatically asked what was wrong. Once she realized, she started laughing and left me to it. (I’m pretty sure her daughter was hoping mom would side with her and tell me to stay.) I came up with a solution that made my charge happy, but it’s pretty hilarious when someone outright cries AND wants their mom when you tell them you’re going to be leaving soon – especially when you’re at work.

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