Saturday, September 7, 2013

New Spanish Words


 A boda is a wedding. It’s the reason we are here in Guatemala at this particular time, to be at Marvin and Evelyn’s wedding. We were picked up here in Antigua by the best man and Marvin’s sister, Karina. They drove us to Villa Nueva. We spent the rest of the day with the bride doing the usual bride stuff like going to the hair salon. We were fed and basically treated like royalty. Pre-wedding photos of the bride were taken. I got as fancied up as I could with my travel accouterments (especially since Marvin didn’t explain ahead of time that Joe and I would actually be in the wedding party). We followed the bride’s car to the church. She stayed in the car with the blacked out windows ‘til the last second.

Transition of scenes . . . now we are hanging out with Marvin. He was a nervous wreck. I straightened his bowtie, told him how handsome he was, told him his bride looked gorgeous and got in the line-up. The parents sit up on the stage at right angles to the bride and groom. We sat behind the parents. First came the reading of the legal documents for twenty-thirty minutes, then the pastor came on. I handed over the wedding vows and Joe handed over the rings (right after he pretended to forget them). On the stage was a Guatemalan flag and an American flag to honor us. The rest was typical; tons of food, hundreds of relatives, babies crying, children playing, etc. Basically wonderful.

Paragua or sombrilla

This is an umbrella. We’d heard both terms before, but we thought the sombrilla was for protection from the sun. A paragua was for (para) water (agua). Today my teacher explained that paraguas are black and they for men. The colored umbrellas are for women and are called sombrillas. When we got home I gave Joe my dark brown umbrella in exchange for his bright apple-green one J


This is a cuss word meaning poop. It is used occasionally to describe the amazing amount of dog poop on the streets and sidewalks. I have learned to watch where I step! There are a lot of homeless dogs here who run in little harmless packs. They follow each other like their noses are Velcroed to their buddy’s tail, in a sort of doggie train.

Llover a cantaros, mojado, and el lodo

Llover is “to rain”, and cantaros is a pitcher. Llover a cantaros is to pour down rain like water being poured out of a pitcher . . .  Which it does almost every day. That brings me to the next word, mojado = wet. My shoes still haven’t dried out completely. Today I broke down and bought a pair of Crocks (not really Crocks but similar plastic shoes). Now when my feet get soaked I can just wipe my shoes off and change socks (if my socks have dried out). El lodo is the mud. I’m sure you see the connection. Last week it rained so hard the water rose above the river and flooded the streets and houses with mud, dirty contaminated mud. Our house is up the hill, thank goodness, but downtown is, well, downtown . . . through the mud.


This is a term not found in the dictionary, but is written on a piece of paper in practically every shop here. Earrings. I love earrings! The most common are either jade and silver (Jade is mined here), or beaded danglies. The hardest part is when people yell out “Jade!” from the stores as I pass, because it sounds like Heidi with a Spanish accent. I forgot my earrings at home, so I’ve purchased 3 pairs so far.


Another thing I forgot . . . my almohada (pillow).  I never, never travel without my pillow. Our bed has two flat, floppy little pillows. The bed is hard and bumpy. I give myself a fifty dollar allowance for every trip we go on to purchase whatever I need to make myself comfortable. So far I’ve bought two pillows ($12), a comforter to put under the sheets and make the bed softer ($25), plastic shoes to replace the wet shoes ($4).

The grandma Elaina has dibs on the comforter when we leave. I suggested it could be used for the next students, but she said “No, es mio!”

My wet sandals have torn up my feet so much Joe calls them my bloody-stump shoes. The four bucks was worth it.

Now I sit here at Luna de Miel watching another torrential downpour while writing in my book “El Tuberon”. Luna de Miel means Honeymoon. I couldn’t tell you why a crepe restaurant would be called honeymoon, but it’s a hot spot for locals. Great food.

On an entirely different subject, there has been a rash of crime here in Antigua in the last two weeks. Especially against tourists. An Australian girl got her pursed sliced and her wallet stolen. The next day someone nabbed her shoes from in front of her house. A tourist bus got robbed downtown at 4:30 in the morning. Last night a group of 3 women and 1 man got attacked by 4 teens in front of our house at 10:00. I heard the horrific screaming, but lucky Joe slept through the whole thing. The next day I asked our neighbors (fellow students at school) if they knew what happened. They did know . . . it was them that got mugged. One of the ladies went ballistic, the second said she feebly attempted to hit one of the guys who was hitting the third girlfriend. The American man ended the fight by jumping in. He got a knot on his forehead for his troubles. The thugs ran away with nothing. To put your minds at ease, Joe and I never go out on the streets at night. We’re in by 7:00. We’re always careful and don’t carry anything of value in our bags (just raincoats!).

Yesterday the grandson, Fabio, came into our room and started chatting away. I made him go back out and knock. He did. Then he talked me into a game of hide-and-seek. After that I couldn’t get rid of him. I was his new best friend. He ran home, saying he’d be right back. Grandma Elaina came in and asked us if we had invited Fabio to go downtown to El Centro with us. We said “No!” She didn’t think so, but apparently he went home and said he had to eat fast and get ready because the Americans were going to take him to the park downtown. Poor delusional kid J Later when we returned from downtown (without Fabio) he once again invaded our room, this time with a mask he’d made. He really is a cute kid.

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully, there were no muggings on my trip, but we'd been warned not to go out after dark.