Friday, December 9, 2005

"Usted" and Frijoles

Amigos del Sol, My School

I've been tring hard to use Usted with everyone but my class- and roommates, but I often slip into tuteándoles. So today at school, when my teache Josefina said hi and asked how I was, I was pleased when I caught myself in time to say, "¿Y Usted?" But she shook a finger at me and correct me: "Y tú."

After class I askedh her more about it. I said that it seemed like in stores the interaction was always with Usted on both sides of the conversation. At the school, she said, things are less formal. With kids it is always okay to use , and you should probably use Usted with someone viejo.

I figured that then was not a good time to ask, "¿Cuántos años tienes tú?" Hehe. She looks likes she's maybe in her late 20's or early 30's. María Elena's age is harder to guess — she seems in her early 20's, but I'd give it a margin of error of 3 years.

So I'm having food problems here, like in Spain. I'm eating even less than usual, because I don't know what anything is. (Thus the crepes and lasagna: known food.) I talked about not liking beans with my classmate and teacher today at school. María Elena said she couldn't believe I didn't like beans. Hehe. She and Josefina both said that I really should say something to the family, though, since beans are so common in Mexican dishes.

So when I got home for lunch, le dije a Sofí, la ayudante de la casa, "Tengo una confesión. No me gustan mucho los frijoles. Y yo sé que son comida típica mexicana, y quizás es que— sólo he comido frijoles de los Estados Unidos, y no de México. Quizás puedo probarlos un poco..?" Luckily she understood (in both senses of the word). She showed me some leftover pasta de frijol (bean paste). I explained that I'd try a little bit, next time. So maybe the food thing will work out after all. Sofí's off to buy tortillas for lunch right now. At least I like tortillas. :)

Sofí's back, with tortillas. I like Sofí, even if I feel weird about her status. (I don't know exactly how locals feel about their ayudantes.) I wondered what she was doing with the tortillas, so I went into the kitchen to see. I asked, "¿Cómo prepara las tortillas?" (I use Usted with her until someone tells me otherwise.) She was just heating them in a pan, until the edges looked crispish and the body was warped. She was also cooking verde. After me being confused, she explain it was chicken in a green sause — maybe mole verde? I told her how "unos días antes, tenía una enfermedad. Ahora la nariz no..." "¿Respirar?" "No no, puedo respirar. Es que no puedo..." I gestured to the pot of chicken cooking, wafted the scent toward me, and sniffle-sniffed to demonstrate. "Ah, no puedes <smell> el olor." "Sí, el olor. Pues, puedo un poco, y creo que es bueno." We laughed (and then I ate her the chicken). ;)

The chicken was quite yummy, and very tender too. The bean paste actually seemed a little sweet. It was edible on its own, but much better on a tortilla with the chicken and sauce.

A cool thing about courtyards is every room has an outside door and a view. The way we open the front door of the apartment to let air in, but we have to be careful about drunks coming in or the cat running out. Or how, in houses, people open up the back door. Here, every room has a "back door" that opens into the controlled outdoor space of the "backyard" courtyard. Very sneaky, like Victor. Victorous, even. Ne vitor shall be "the sneak" in Asha'ille, methinks.

Oo, Squirt! Silvia reminds me of Señora Dominguez, from Las Lomas! Similar way of talking. A little less overweight, and Mexican instead of pale, but similar.

Welp, off to do things besides blog in Mexico. ;)


Shelley: the Dread Pirate Rodgers said...

"I'm eating even less than usual, because I don't know what anything is."

[sigh] Why does this sound so typical? How the heck can you ever figure out what you will like if you don't TRY it? Good lord even eat SUSHI.

"We laughed (and then I ate her the chicken). ;) "

awww.. the strikeout didn't copy/paste .. but I was *most* amused. :-)

And to emphasize previous exhortations .. TAKE PICTURES! Lots of pictures! I'm very pleased that you're in some of them too ... more of those also ... I think you'll find in years to come that *you* will be pleased to be in some of your pictures. Oh! Have you taken a picture of los Garcias and your home-away-from-home?

Arthaey Angosii said...

WRT food: I'm trying stuff on recommendations of others, or based on English menu descriptions. Are you suggesting I just try harder? By the throat? Harder?

WRT pictures: I liking having pictures, even of me, I just don't like taking pictures. But I'm trying harder. By the throat. ...Sorry, sorry.

Aaron *@ said...

I told Victor about your word for "the sneak", and he got a kick out of the fact that someone he's never met and has never met him has created a word in his honor :)