Wednesday, May 18, 2005

and yes, it does involve shaking your ass

Here's the thing about my new place of employment.
There's a whole slew of Mexicans (henceforth referred to as Spaniards in honor of Christian) who speak very little English. Actually, like many people I've worked with in the past who claim no hablo inglés or je ne parle pas l'anglais, they speak just fine. Not as well as you or I do, but they do fine.
Sometimes, I'm the only English speaker in the kitchen, and I speak only muy pequeño español, there's sometimes a bit of trouble communicating. It wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that I'm still learning how to get stuff done around there. But the wonderful thing is that compared to all of these guys, I'm super-gargantuan man. Those of you who know me know that I'm of very average build, but these guys are all about 5'4" on a good day, so I'm huge in contrast to them. Either way, on those days when I'm the only English-speaker, it's really refreshing when one of the servers or the manager or somebody else breezes through the kitchen and I get to have a thirty second conversation in English.
In his book Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain implores the reader (who is presumably a chef, or someone who aspires to be) to LEARN SPANISH. It isn't just the dishwasher anymore, and it isn't just in cities where the Hispanic population is huge. The workforce in kitchens is becoming more and more Hispanic everywhere you go. My place of work is a prime example. Some of these guys are really good cooks, and I have very little way to communicate with them. It's kind of funny, because they speak more English than I speak Spanish, but none of us speaks the other's tongue well enough to have dialog. Instead, we just sound like cavemen. I really should heed Mr Bourdain's advice if I want to remain in this business for a while. Actually, that's sort of up in the air, but I'm in it for the time being.

Anyway, one of the Spaniards was playing a CD today. Some sort of Spanish mix. I don't know what it was, but some of it was really good. There was some decent electronic stuff, something that sounded really indie, and something that reminded me a lot of Heavenly. I was kind of enjoying the mix, but just as I was starting to get into it, it was over, and someone put the radio on.

The Bulls game the other day was a good time. Actually, it costs less to get a good seat there than it does to get a good seat here in Greensboro. Our team is just an A team, while the bulls are AAA. I was pretty stoked about being able to sit really close to the field for $6. The drawback was that it was a Monday afternoon game, and I guess they didn't order enough beer to stock up for the weekend plus the early Monday game. They ended up running out of a lot of stuff. Oh well.

Oh.... Turns out the new landlord here isn't going to jack up the rent. That's a good thing. He's already done some landscaping to improve the house (maybe it'll cut down on the bugs), and has promised to do more. So I'm happy about that.

Cable guy's coming tomorrow morning. Some of my channels come in really REALLY fuzzy, and I shouldn't have to live that way. I have the fanciest cable available, and it looks like crud. Only on some channels, though. Anyway, you all know how the cable company works. They have two different windows available. The only one that would work for me was the one where they might come at 7:00 am. Yikes.

If anybody knows any good jokes in Spanish, I'd like to hear them. I need to find a way to get in good with the Spaniards (other than being taller than they are).

Now playing:
Stereolab -- Dots and Loops
StereolabDots and Loops


playfulinnc said...

Hey D,

Say these things a lot and they will really like you:

"Besa mi culo!"
"Donde esta el bano, amigos?"
"Cervesa por todos!"
"Tu madre y los pantalones largos! Uf!"

There ya go. Hope my Minor in Spanish works for you.

Where is it you're working?

d-lee said...

dang. I know enough to know what all of those mean.
I'm now working at m'couls.

Reid said...

If you need a good Spanish exclamatory swear, you got it: CARAJO! Just yell that out one day in the kitchen where you'd normally yell, "Fuck!" and the staff will lose it. It's great. It's part of one of the most useful Spanish phrases I know: "Hace un frio del carajo!", which roughly translates to, "It's cold as shit!" I use it all the time. In the winter.