December 15th, 2007

new year

Espanglais

As usual at this time of year I seem to be living in the time zone for, like, Fiji, West Samoa, maybe New Zealand. So I was particularly late going to pick up the vegie box, but the roads were so extraordinarily bad that it turned out to be a good thing, because the guy with the truck from Harmony Valley had just arrived, running four hours late, and I wouldn't have been able to pick it up any earlier anyhow.

Then he needed a ride back over to the far east side of town, and I was able to say Okay! so he didn't have to wrestle the delivery truck back through snowy one-lane streets. He spoke mostly Spanish, and we established before we left that I speak only poquito, and I wasn't entirely sure what it was we were going to pick up, which turned out to be his essential clipboard. We navigated over to Elmside Circle (quick, where is that?) on local orienteering, and mutual goodwill. Meanwhile, I could not dredge from my brain any of the Spanish I ever knew, either from la escuela or from mis amigos cubanos. Some words started popping loose though, while I thought if we were really stymied I could try calling mi hijo, they could talk on my cellphone and Number One Son could translate for me. That was unnecessary, but it was a quiet ride there and back.

The roads were so bad it took nearly an hour, and at two in the afternoon the poor guy still had five more stops to make. "You have more stops?" is the simple English I managed to elicit that information. Mostly I thought about the language, and how to say distracting things that the truck driver would not have been particularly interested in. Eventually I remembered olvido, from in amongst a bunch of French verb forms that I never yet learned in Spanish, cognates in some kind of Late Latinate, and finally even hablo. But what I hablo, yo, is not Miami Spanglish, or schoolgirl Franglais, but an ungodly amalgam of the three.

Then I had a lovely walk, the long way around both the Holiday Fantasy In Lights at Olin and then the zoo as well, with big flakes coming down the whole time. This was another several inches of snow, which was supposed yesterday to be one-to-two inches some distance south of us. We haven't had this much piled up since Number One Son was very short, and had a snow fort in the terrace beside the driveway. Mr S was out cutting and burning cedar all day at Spring Green.

It's a new adventure every day. I am thinking I should keep my French head together through the Montreal Worldcon, whenever that is, then give that up and study Spanish.