When someone says something to me in passing in Spanish and I don’t catch it the first time I ask them to repeat it. If I don’t get it the second time I try and forestall the inevitable transformation into Mrs. Richards from Fawlty Towers (“Do you have A HEARING AID?”) and hope that a smile, an energetic chuckle and a few “si, si”s will do the trick. Probably 75% of the time I get away with it, appearing at best to get it and at worst to be a bit daft. But I can only imagine what the person on the receiving end the other 25% of the time must think:
“Excuse me, do you know how to get to Zaragoza St?” Ha! Ha, ha. Yes, yes.
“Please ask your dog to stop licking my shoes.” Yes! Yes, *chuckle* yes.
“That shirt is extremely ugly.” Eh-heh-heh-heh. Yes, yes indeed.
I suppose I could try and pass this affliction off as a very eclectic sense of humor but I think I’ll have to settle for one out of every four Spanish speakers thinking I’m a bibbling idiot.
In other news, my household effects are set to arrive tomorrow. All the things I thought I could do without for two months but not forever will be liberated from their shipping crate in an explosion of packing tape and souvenir DC dust. And all those odd, passing desires I’ve had — to bake a bundt cake, wear combat boots, read W.B. Yeats — can at last be indulged. All at once even! Ha! Si, si.