I Moved To Oaxaca

Monday, October 04, 2004

As you I think know, I have two classes Saturdays: an adult class from 8a-11a, and a kids class from 11a-2p. Two adult classes wouldn't be so bad, but man those kids wear me out. Part of it is, the kids are anywhere from 8 years old to almost 12, so there's a huge scism between the older ones and the little kids. And the school has been trying out kids in all the Saturday classes, so sometimes I've had fourteen kids when I've planned for 8 or 10. It makes for a long three hours, and by the time I get home in the afternoon, I'm ready for a nap or a drink. Or both.

But this last Saturday I just took a nap, then played with the kitten, did some e-mail, saw a movie -- usual Saturday stuff. And by the time we were heading home it was late enough that El Chepil, our tlayuda restaurant around the corner, was open so we went there to get some dinner.

There was only one other diner when we sat down, but right after we ordered this huge group came in. The gods of restaurant timing were definitely on our side that night. We can see them sneaking peeks at us, then the kids started looking and making like they wanted to come over to our table but were too shy. Well, they finally worked up their courage just as our food arrived. They wanted to know our names. They wanted to know where we lived, and where we were from. Were we married? Did we have kids? What kind of food do we eat in the States? Is that a tattoo? Do you like Oaxaca? How do you say ... well, just about every word they could think of to ask. The kids, four girls, were seven and eight and eleven and twelve, two sets of sisters, all cousins.

When their little brains started to fill up, they went and got paper napkins and pens and started writing down what we said. Only through a kid Spanish filter. For instance, one kid asked me, "Como se dice 'verde' en ingles?" How do you say 'green' in English? I saw her write on her napkin, verde=ruin. Say "ruin" with a really fake-sounding Spanish accent and it kinda comes out as "green." Her napkin was full of that, but "ruin" is the only one I can remember.

Dinner lasted two hours! But it was the funnest thing we did all weekend.


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