Wednesday, May 11, 2011


On Sunday, at La Bamba, our favorite Mexican restaurant in Greenfield, the meal serving was so large I needed a box to take home the remainder.

I asked the waiter, "Como se dice BOX?" I thought that he answered, "CACA". I laughed and said, "That's not what CACA means in English or Yiddish!" He repeated it and I understood it was "CAJA".

I took a Spanish class to assist me in registering Hispanic Americans to register to vote. I've registered only five since 2008. The Spanish class has helped me more than it's helped prospective voters.

I was in a store recently and I could not reach the top row of 2-liter Caffeine-Free Coca Cola. I saw a young Hispanic couple and the man was tall. I approached them and asked the female, "Me puedes ayudar?" which I think is "Will you help me?" She said, "Si"--I was thrilled that she actually understood me! I pointed to the Coca Cola and I couldn't remember the word for "high", but I remembered "alto" was TALL and I pointed to him and to the Coke and said "alto" and gestured that I couldn't reach it. They laughed. He asked, "Cuantos?" I was thrilled--cuantos--quantity--YES! I practically screamed with delight, "Todos!" for ALL! I counted as he put 10 in the cart, "Uno, dos.......diez!" We all laughed.

I was in a store another time and I saw two young men looking at the different kinds of coffee--regular and decaffeinated--in red and green cans. The writing on the cans was in a fancy script. I could glean from the conversation that they did not know which was which. I pointed to the red can and said, "Regular" and I pointed to the green can and said, "Descafeinado". They were both effusive with their gratitude and started speaking to me in Spanish--I gestured with my fingers to show a miniscule amount--and said, "Yo hablo poco Espanol!" (I speak a little Spanish!")

Read my BLOG article "GRAZIE!" from January 29, 2010, to see WHY I needed a Spanish class.