When Hunger Hits

IMG_1199Mommy how do you say, “I’m hungry” in Spanish?

Jayla, you need to say, “Como se dice” that means, “How do you say” en espanol.


But, honestly, I don’t know how to say “I’m hungry.” And we do need some food so I made plans to go to the grocery store, come back to the apartment, eat, shower, go to the park, and then end the day at a restaurant. Unfortunately, my four years of high school Spanish, completion of the required five levels of Spanish in college, and two trips abroad in Spanish speaking countries seemed to have vanquished the minute we stepped in to the nearby grocery store (El Mercadona…or is it ‘la’). I was able to ask, “Donde es el pan?” But when I got to the register, I’m pretty sure the cashier asked me for the price on the bananas and I stammered out, “Lo siento, mi espanol es poco.” (I practiced saying, “Sorry, I only speak a little Spanish,” plenty of times but at the moment, I could barely get the words out or remember the order, and I didn’t want to say small). I ended up leaving the grocery story with some very basic food staples that I was able to identify by sight.

Jayla's (bite-size) hamburger and my (mini) chicken sandwich. I had to scrape the bacon off.
Jayla’s (bite-size) hamburger and my (mini) chicken sandwich. I had to scrape the bacon off.

Oh well, food retrieved. I need to brush up on my Spanish for sure. I have the google translate app but don’t want to rely on it and I also have DuoLingo and Rosetta Stone. Jayla and I have committed to spending one hour a day practicing. So, we finally eat lunch, showered, unpacked (I realized I did over pack. I may have to revoke my self-given professional packer certification). When we found our way to the park (no GPS, because T-Mobile lied to me, I purchased additional data so I’d be able to hotspot, and so far, on all three of my phones, it has not worked). The park was huge and there were small areas with different obstacles to be completed. Unfortunately, I’m jetlagged and a bit under the weather, probably caused by the extremely cold airport. I had to unpack a long sleeve and use my blanket and Jayla’s and I was still cold. Now my throat has an unbearable pain every time I swallow and I feel weak. Coming from MN where it’s cold six months out of the year and I bundle in layers I’m used to being sick and I know how to push through, sucks, but it is what it is.


After the park, we’re ready for dinner but we detour back to the apartment and have some ice cream. Yet, another unfortunate event occurs. Due to my lack of Spanish recall, we’re staring at the menu and I’m typing in the food descriptions using that same google app I didn’t want to rely on. We don’t eat pork so it’s easy to eliminate some of the food choices because I remember jamon, salsachicas, and chorizo. Guess we’ll stick to pollo. Anyways, I’m shocked at the food prices. Our meal rings up to $8.00. I thought the cashier said my ticket was ‘number 8’ and went and sat down, until he started waving the receipt at me. $8.00 not order #8. When our food arrived, I understood the $8.00.


Next, we headed to an indoor fruit and veggie store (most of the corner stores and small food shops we have visited are owned by ‘Los Chinos’). My daughter asked me if they’re Spanish or Asian. I found tomorrow’s history lesson. We both have questions that need answers. I find it interesting how quickly we want to categorize people based on appearances. I was doing it myself when I saw “black” folks. Same happened when I was I Ecuador and saw ‘black’ folks but in America they’d be classified as Hispanic (maybe) or Afro-Latino, I have no idea.


Finally, we get back to our apartment, practice some Spanish, reflect on the day and lay it down for the night around 9:00 p.m.

Oh, yeah, jet lag, we were up until 4:00 am. I mean we were in bed, we just weren’t sleeping.

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