The news is on, and the reporter starts talking about the exorbitant ad prices for … the Super Bowl! I hear more about whether or not Real Madrid won their last fútbol game than any news about American football, so I’m surprised to realize that one of the United States’ most cherished sporting events is this weekend. In the excitement and novelty of living in Spain, I managed to forget about the Super Bowl. Milestone.
In one weekend of meeting people, I got Do your parents speak Spanish? and Wow, I wouldn’t have guessed that you’re from the US. I’m flattered that, even though I definitely couldn’t say I’m from Spain, my Spanish accent and fluency is getting good enough to throw people off about where I learned the language. When Spaniards feel more comfortable talking to me, I get to hear more slang than when they speak slower, more deliberate Spanish-for-foreigners. This sometimes backfires, though, as it often means that Spaniards overestimate my ability to follow fast Spanish, and I’m left in the dust when they get going. Yesterday, I paused a conversation to ask what “flipa” meant (loosely, “that’s wild!”) – but fifteen minutes later, I hesitantly used the word and made them smile and laugh – You said it right, good job! they told me. Nothing beats the moment when I try out a new phrase or word and I get the reaction I’m hoping for. Milestone.
While skyping with my parents and sister, I decided to introduce them to my host dad and sister. While acting as the interpreter for their brief conversation, there was a definitely a moment when my brain turned off and turned back on, while an expression of confusion froze on my face and my mouth hung open. After rebooting, I stumbled through the rest of the translation, and later insisted to my family that interpreting is very difficult! They laughed at me. The best part, though, was that the next morning my host dad teased me about my inability to speak English to my parents. Sounds silly, right? Why would that be the best part? One of the stranger things I miss from home is being teased, because I miss hanging out with people that know me well enough to call me out about things. I can now say I’ve had someone from Spain make fun of me. Milestone.