Como te bla bla bla?

I sometimes wonder why we don’t all just learn more Spanish by osmosis. I mean, it’s all around us. If we found ourselves suddenly surrounded by French-speaking people, no doubt we’d latch on and insist they teach us their beautiful language. At least that’s what I like to think. But Spanish is just as beautiful, if not more, and without the subtle snottiness. Every now and then I take another stab at learning Spanish, and I guess I learn a little bit more all the time, but it’s so hard. Hard like bending a lead pipe, and it feels equally unproductive in the early stages. I know so few phrases, and know nothing about the subtext behind my little mispronunciations. The cleaning woman at my friend’s work doesn’t speak any english and doesn’t want to, and I like her a lot, so we have these choppy, short conversations every once in a while. I ask her how her weekend was, which I only know how to say in one way, and she will ask me something about a photo, or tell me that it’s bad luck to put my purse on the floor. It is because of her that I was able to ask if I had to put my purse in the security x-ray machine in Cabo. It is because of my friend Emely that I know what the cleaning woman was talking about with the pointing and the frowning and “Mal, Mal!”. My Venezuelan friend, Maria, approaches my language difficulties with complete compassion, and warmly tolerates my yoda-esque Spanish. If I ask her to keep an eye on my camera while I go get a drink, I will say what I know translates as, “look at here?!?” But my fascination with language and expression will always keep me trying to learn.

Anyway, here’s a few pics that I forgot to put in the Cabo collection. We put my camera away at night and took out Tim’s, and kept it set at a pretty slow shutter speed. Also there was a pano pic, a complete waste in the space provided for a photo for a blog.
I got a shot of the waiter at the Trailer Park restaurant making the most interesting version of bananas foster I’ve ever seen. It took him twenty minutes to make it at the customers’ table, and he poured the rum over a partially peeled orange and set it on fire, so that the burning liquor flowed down the curly peel. It was beautiful, though we were sure it wasn’t supposed to take that long.

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Ich ging zum Lebensmittelgeschäftspeicher heute

Which very loosely translates to: “I don’t have to wait until Oktoberfest to get German food!!”

There’s a German market down the street from my work, and I stop there occasionally, including this past Christmas when I was getting stocking stuffers for my nieces and wanted to fill their stockings with as much variety as I could find. I got them each a frosted gingerbread man there. I love that about the areas I live and work in. I was craving Korean food yesterday, and I had Bibimbap for lunch. It was so delicious, I could have sung while I was eating it. It was even better reheated, later on.
Today I was craving sausage and sauerkraut after work, so I stopped at the German store, the Alpine Village Market. But you know what? I spent so much of my life as a vegetarian that I don’t know how to pick out sausage, if there are choices. I went to the deli counter and there were miles of sausage varieties, plus more along the wall and behind me. Remember in ‘Airplane’ when he went into the cockpit to fly the plane, and there were acres of instruments, gages and panels? It was like that except that nobody’s life was on the line, but like it in that I was all alone and had nobody to help me. Aww. There were, however, samples on the counter. I tried a few, and then when I finally got help, I pointed at the one I liked. This sweet-faced, stout woman said, phonetically, “Oh! Das is Kakawerhgenhk”.
“What?”
“I will get you some.”
She brought me back a piece of sausage, and I said, “What is that called again? Kakaweghen?”
“Yes, Kakawerghenk” and pointed to the far end of the counter, where she’d retrieved my order.
I went looking for it, so I could learn a new word.
I found the sausage identical to what I had ordered, and it said, “Krakauer”. My favorite author. I’ll always be able to remember that. But I swear, she hit every consonant in that word with guttural sounds, and some of the vowels, too.
Incidentally, the phrase up top was what I got back from the English-German translator after I typed in, “I went to the Grocery Store today”. I typed that into the German-English translator, and got back, “Today I went to the food store memory”. I typed that back into the English-German translator, and got back “Heute ging ich zum Lebensmittelgeschäft-Gedächtnis”. I tried to keep going, but it started translating the same thing back. Maybe because English is Germanic. Maybe if you played with it in a more distant language, you’d get more and more scrambled each time. If I was interpreting German phrases, I would have said, “Today I went to the food store, and I don’t like you!!!!” But that’s just how German sounds to me.

Cannot use the word “swanky” enough

In fact, please turn on Isaac Hayes’ “Shaft” while you read this post.
Got it? Okay:
Have you ever been to one of those “Lucky Strike” Bowling Alleys? They are so much better than old fashioned bowling alleys. They’re decorated all swanky, and dimly lit like a lounge. And none of that old depressing feeling.

Did I work at a bowling alley for too long?

Anyway, I tried to take a pic of the place through a mirror, to maximize the amount of interior I could stuff into one image. It kinda worked. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that the consoles each have two lovely swanky couches, that block so much of the walking area that you can only pass by them one person at a time. It made me feel like I was in one of those fun houses, where everything is compressed together. There is supposed to be plenty of space to walk around, and you shouldn’t be stuck out in front of the lanes just because you’re waiting in line to get to the other side of the couch.

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Incidentally this is how much space a bowling alley is supposed to have:
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It’s exaggerated a little because the lens is wide angle, but the pose is not exaggerated. I really do stand like that when I bowl.

Cabo pics

The ocean is unfairly warm and beautiful down in Cabo, unlike our Alaskan water off of California. The Pacific meets the Sea Of Cortez in a stark contrast of calm versus rough waters, right at the famous arch. Just a couple of hundred feet to the north on the Pacific side is the hotel where Tim and I stayed. The beach there is inviting and blue with turquoise water skirting the sand, but signs everywhere warn you not to swim there, lest you get sucked in to the undertow. I’m also glad I am not into boat fishing, because people endure an amazing amount of rocky water just to try to catch some fish offshore there, on the Pacific side.

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We heeded the warnings and stuck to beach activities on the bay. The front door of our hotel room had a panoramic view of Cabo’s harbor, the city itself, and beyond, while the balcony had a nice view of the Pacific and the beach. The timeshare salespeople started in on us as soon as we got there, and we had to tear our airplane weary selves away from them so we could get to our room and rest. Our friend Billy took us to a nice restaurant in town whose name translates as “Trailer Park”. They offer a variety of seafood and an intoxicating atmosphere with their patio full of trees and twinkly lights. Their high-end prices do not reflect the low-end reference in their name. I felt like the guests of honor even though everyone was treated the same. They’re just so nice. We even let the band stand at our table and play for us and it just added to the atmosphere. Usually I would be trying to avoid that at all costs.

Tim and I got to spend as much time as we wanted photographing everything around us. Lately people have been complaining about our paparazzi ways, and then when we leave the cameras at home, they ask us why we didn’t bring them. Which is it, people? Me, I’d love to have somebody follow me around with a camera.
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Anyway, Billy never complained and let us take pics of him DJ’ing, swimming, and enjoying Cabo with us.

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We spent Saturday at the Hotel that he was spinning at, and while Billy treated everybody to some great music, Tim and I were on the sand getting swarmed by salespeople. I felt like I was on hidden camera, because the approaches of the vendors was getting more frequent by the minute, and I felt a fight or flight urge coming on. And by “fight” I mean start trying to get them to buy things from me, like my towel or my boyfriend.

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I politely declined about seventy or eighty times while still maintaining as much politeness as I could-they’re just doing their job- and I splashed around in the calm clear water of the beach in front of the ME Hotel. The beach there was filled with American tourists, and their naivety was making me blush. The drunken bachelor party with sunburnt backs was making me cringe. The beach was gorgeous, though, and I was content to just walk around taking pictures. I saw this girl selling trinkets that had on a full white outfit, including a white towel over her head. I imagined that she was on the run, trying to escape a past that didn’t want her and that she didn’t want, and was supporting herself in Cabo for a while, during which she would get her bearings and then head on to someplace like Brazil. She lived in hiding lest her family found her and dragged her back home. I get caught up in my fantasies and I chose to put a picture of her on the internet that hid her face, so she could continue in hiding.

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Tim rented a jet ski and I tried to join him for a while, but even that part of the ocean was too rough for me. The guys that rented the jet ski to us were giggling as I staggered up and handed back my life-jacket, with the whole world blurring and spinning around me. I spent the rest of the afternoon resting in a quiet spot by the resort’s upper pool. Billy stopped by and checked on me which was nice because if I’d needed anything, I would have been helpless to do anything about it. Tim also rescued me from a bad sunburn by spraying me down with SPF 30 while I was laying on my stomach, half asleep.

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On Sunday, we went to Playa Chileno, a beach that’s famous for it’s gorgeous snorkeling (I posted about that from Cabo).

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Not MY biological clock

The other night I dreamed that I had a baby, and I gave it up for adoption. The women working at the adoption agency took so long with the paperwork that when they came back to the waiting room to get me, I’d had another baby. The first one was a little girl, and the second one was an even cuter baby boy. I didn’t mind holding the baby while I was waiting, because it was so cute, but I didn’t have any problem giving it to them as I obviously wasn’t going to keep it.

Cabo pic

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I took this pic on Saturday of our Cabo weekend as the sun was coming out after a long cloudy morning.
We both tried a little bit of snorkeling, and the water was just as it always in Cabo: clear and inviting. I kept looking up because I was afraid I’d get too absorbed in what I was doing and drift far from shore. Tim’s friend Billy was DJ-ing at the resort (the ME Hotel), so that’s how we ended up spending the day there. Tim and I had a hotel that overlooked the Pacific, which is a beautiful view but too rough to swim in. The rest of my pics are still being edited.