Thursday, 5 March 2009

No Comprende Espanol; Espanol No Comprende Us


Marie and I started taking Spanish lessons this week at Mayra's school of Spanish here in Banos in order to improve our chicken scratch charades Spanish. But apparently us not understanding Spanish is only half the battle we face down here, as the Spanish culture seems to be having a bit of a difficult time understanding us... The first few days of our Spanish classes were spent trying to explain our "situation" to our aghast teacher and the young college aged Ecuadorian girl who was sitting in on our classes in order to improve her English. I don't remember how it all started, but it probably started with me opening my big mouth and making some stupid comment in an attempt to try to be funny, probably at Marie's, or our relationship's expense, which I think resulted in Marie smacking me in the face with the paper that she was holding in her hand, which left the teacher and the young Ecuadorian girl shocked that I was laughing after having been smacked by a woman - I guess that doesn't happen in Latin countries much due to rampant machismo.

But, as the teacher pointed out, I was not a machismo, rather a masochist.

And the cross cultural exchange of relationship understanding spiraled after that when Marie and I revealed that we had each been married twice, and that Marie was still in fact married to her second husband after seven years of separation, to which I was shocked to find that he still lived in New York, as I was under the impression that he lived in South Africa - which I liked much better, to which the teacher responded that we both needed to have an exorcism performed at the local church. It's free (I checked).

The next day when we returned to school we found that our conservative teacher had been replaced by a much more liberal still-in-the-closet-homosexual (who seemed to take a liking to me), and that the young Ecuadorian girl was no longer sitting in on our classes. I like our new gay teacher better anyway. He's much more thorough and a lot more fun - he breaks out into dance quit often. As for the learning itself, I'm having much more trouble than Marie and have been assigned extra homework tonight as punishment by our hard assed (pun intended) homosexual disciplinarian - he's really been cracking the proverbial whip on me since he found out that I was a masochist. I really want to learn Spanish as I hate being tongue tied and mute and reduced to playing charades in public every time I want to explain something, it's just that I have a difficult time paying attention, staying awake, doing homework, and grasping what in the fuck is going on in general with certain types of learning, especially in classrooms that remind me of High School. And I find myself drifting off in thought to never-never land, staring out the window at the mountains just outside the windows, wondering about all the living that I'm missing cooped up in a sterile little room. That's probably why I've never finished College and why I've never kept a job longer than a year of consecutive time, and why I tend to gravitate towards contract labor (as it gives me the illusion of freedom), as I always feel like I'm missing out on LIFE when I'm stuck in a room with the smell of stale coffee in the air trying to memorize lessons for school or company manuals and codes of acceptable conduct for work. And what happens in response to this abject tedium is that my mind will start to wander and find what it is that I feel like I'm missing on the other side of the glass, always just out of reach. And which is, I guess why when my name is called by someone for me to snap back to reality, like it was by Marie this morning in Spanish class, I turn and respond with something completely out of left field and nonsensical, which has always gotten me reprimanded in some way or another - like extra homework for tonight - but left Marie laughing uncontrollably wondering where my mind was and what the fuck I was talking about when I responded... Ahh... ahhh?... Ahh, life, where are you? I see you out there...


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