Friday, October 18, 2013

lost in translation


I think my life's mission is to embarrass myself as much as possible.

So, yesterday, I thought there would be no program for the children at the school.


I'm really not good at understanding Spanish.

I speak it much better than I hear it.

It could be that MusicMan tries to dumb down the language, to make it easier for me, but I still had troubles yesterday.

I don't know what it is.

I just don't understand the language.

I can communicate very well on my own part, so people think that I am able to understand the words.

But I need people to speak




to understand what the hell they're saying.

Or else I run into troubles.

Like yesterday.

So, I show up and I'm worried that MusicMan wouldn't have a job to feed his baby.


Everything was fine.

Turns out he has the other job right now, as stage manager for the DR Jazz Festival.

He was trying to explain to me that he wasn't going to be at the school, because he has another job.

What I got out of it was that he needed to be at another job.

As in, there is no job at Dream Project and the reason I had to wait to hear back from him was because he didn't know if I would need to be there if he wasn't.

I'm a fucking nutburger.

I embarrass myself on a regular basis.

But today, when I explain to him how embarrassed I am, I better get down the word for 'embarrassed', because it sounds an awful lot like pregnant and he'll be congratulating me.

Papi and I have been here 10 months.

When will I start to understand what everyone is saying?!?!?!?!

One poor little soul yesterday came in to class and I had just been practising for an hour doing scales, arpeggios and broken chords, so my mind was really elsewhere in piano land.

She sat down and I rattled off in English what we'd be working on today.

She looked at me with big eyes and asked if I could say it in Spanish.

It was pretty funny and we had a good laugh.

Then at the pharmacy, the woman kept asking me for 50 pesos, only, I kept hearing 500.

I tried every combination I could to give her the 500 thinking she wanted certain denominations for change for her register.

Finally, she stopped me by looking me in the eye, touching my hand, and taking a 100 peso bill and proceeded to give me change.

"Ahhhhhhhhh.  50 pesos!"

I finally got it.


When do I get better at this?

Good thing they don't have a 'Tea Party' here in the Dominican Republic.

They'd have my ass on the next plane out of the country.

People are much more patient with expats here.

i have the ability to persevere 


  1. I have days when I am completely non-lingual. I only know one language with anything approaching fluency, and there are plenty of days when the words just don't connect. At least you have an excuse when you're not getting the Spanish...

    1. katy, i can always rely on you to make me feel better :) you are a good friend xoxox


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