Friday, June 16, 2006

Immigration problem? Gee, I haven't noticed.

My air mattress sprung a big ass leak last night.

I live in a primarily Dominican neighborhood in NYC and I am, on many levels, your average American white guy who speaks very little Spanish.

That being said:

I walked into a hardware store in my neighborhood today and was greeted by a pleasent and eager fellow.

Fellow: Que pasa, boss?

Me: I need an adhesive patch.

Fellow: Que?

Me: I'm looking for an adhesive patch. I have an air mattress and it has a hole in it. I need to fix it. Like, something you'd fix a bike tire with. Do you have something like that?

Fellow: Si, si, no problemo, amigo!

The gentleman disappeared into the back of the store, came out a few seconds later and met me at the cash register.

He handed me a plastic bag containing an electical powerstrip, smiled and asked,

"Es eso?" (Will that be all?)

I gave him a look that probably read something like...

--I mean you can't be serious, dude. What part of "adhesive patch" sounds like "three-prong/eight-outlet AC adapter"? I'm a fairly tolerant individual, but this is fucking ridiculous.--

After my eyes burned a hole through this poor sap's soul, he called for an English speaking manager.

The manager comes over, greets me and asks,

Manager: "What can I do for you?"

Me: "Hello, I need an adhesive patch to fix my air mattress."

The manager turns to the fellow I originally spoke with and says,

Manager to fellow: "Tenemos un patcho?" (Do we have a patch?)

Fellow: "Oh! UN PATCHO!"

Yes, you idiot. Try to get your brain to think outside of that tiny box. Take off the "o" and we're talking about the same thing, genius.

I mean, what the hell is going on here? Let's just suppose that for some reason I took a job in a hardware store in The Dominican Republic, okay? Let's also suppose that I speak relatively no Spanish.

If a native approached me in the store and asked for "un patcho", I would know that the customer wanted "a patch" of some sort. How would I know this? Because I'm not retarded.

I can almost understand being served the chicken soup instead of the chicken sandwich which I actually ordered, but c'mon.
(sigh)

3 comments:

Inti Tayta said...

FYI "es eso?" means "is it that (thing)?". there might be some confusion if someone translated the first for you as "is that it?" which of course has 2 english meanings, but the spanish is only one way.

"es todo?" means "is that everything?".

you don't to publish this comment obviously, you can just edit it

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ryan said...

I bet I could cut out your toungue with a duller knife than the one with which you split that hair.

I don't know what than means.

Thanks for the heads-up.

Best regards,
Ryan