I’m going to yes myself to death

29 Jun

July 5, 2011

You could say I’m agreeable person. But not just in the sense that (usually) I’m easy to get along with.
I literally agree to EVERYTHING here in Mexico, which has had some mixed results.
See, when I don’t understand exactly what someone is asking/trying to tell me, the easiest course of action is just to smile, nod, put on my “I completely understand every word you’re saying to me”-face, and say “Si” repeatedly.
This strategy has resulted in many outcomes, including having my eyebrows dyed, being followed to the movies by Jaguar Jesus the Pasta Salesman, and eating some tasty marshmallows (maybe?) and hot fudge on fro-yo.
As you may or may not already know, I have (more or less) successfully navigated a few beauty salons here. I managed to get my hair cut short WITHOUT looking like Justin Bieber, and even though I accidentally agreed to having my hair dyed a little more red than I wanted, at least I didn’t accidentally agree to platinum blonde.
However, when the stylist was dyeing my hair, she asked me if I wanted something done, and all I caught was “the little hairs.”
Well, since my hair is short, of course all of it is “little hair,” so I smiled, nodded, and said “Si” a few times.
The next thing I knew, she was painting dye on my eyebrow.  At this point, it was a little too late to walk out of there. What was I supposed to do? Leave with mismatched eyebrows?
Let me just tell you that, as a white American girl, I already stick out like George Bush at an AME service. I couldn’t POSSIBLY attract more attention to myself by leaving with mismatched eyebrows, although honestly, I probably looked weirder walking out of there with random streaks of dye on my face than if I had just abandoned ship halfway through.
Since my American friends and I usually travel a pack, I think we attract a pretty good deal of attention, but usually people are a little intimidated (or uninterested) in approaching us.
Not so in the case of Jaguar Jesus. We were waiting at a bus stop to go to the movies, when a friendly little dude who was waiting at the same stop walked up to us and asked where we were going. We told him, and he pointed to a bus stop around the corner and said we needed to take that one. The bus stop was literally 50 feet away- we didn’t need a personal escort, but he took it upon himself to make sure we got to the stop safely.
We chatted a little bit, but it was completely one sided. I had literally no idea what he was talking about. I kept catching the word for China, but he didn’t look Chinese at all. I like to think that my Spanish has progressed enough to at least have a basic conversation with someone on the street, but not this time.
He was wearing a polo embroidered with a logo that said “something- something- PASTA,” so I asked him where he worked (as if I would understand his response).
From what I could gather, he worked at some sort of company that provides pasta to different places (presumably restaurants), and he was the delivery boy. He pointed to his elbow, I guess to signify elbow pasta.
The bus finally came, and my friends and I moved to get on it. He said something to me, and of course I smiled, nodded, and said “Si” a few times.
Suddenly, he was on the bus with us, sitting next to me. He asked me my name, and told me his. I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
So, he pulled out his I.D. and showed me. It said “Balam Jesus.”
Balam is the Mayan word for jaguar, and Jesus, is well, Jesus.
I was sitting on the bus with Jaguar Jesus, who was chatting my ear off in a language that I can only assume was Spanish (but maybe it was Chinese, since he kept talking about China…)
We arrived at the mall with the movie theater, and (I guess) since I hadn’t demonstrated any ability to understand anything so far, Jaguar Jesus took it upon himself to walk us to the theater (in case I should get lost going somewhere I actually HAVE been before).
While he was walking with us all I could think was “How do I get rid of him? If he asks to see a movie with us, I probably will accidentally say yes!”
Luckily, at the door to the mall, he let us go, bidding us farewell (I think) and trotting off to wherever he was going, be it to sell pasta or work his moonlight shift of accompanying American students to the movies.
The most success I’ve had with my “Yes” strategy is when I’m eating, in a restaurant or in my house. I’ll agree to eat just about anything, and usually it lands me delicious condiments (there’s this stuff here called media crema that is like sour cream, but not sour!) or an extra scoop of ice cream (the vanilla here is bright yellow, because vanilla beans are yellow…?).
“They” always say that you should say “YES” to life, embrace it with open arms, seize the day, blah blah blah, but in reality, all that will get you is weird colored eyebrows, a persistent companion, and, if you’re lucky, tortillas on the side.

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2 Responses to “I’m going to yes myself to death”

  1. katrina August 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    I’m now a G.A. addict after reading a handfull of your posts! They are so funny, I can totally relate on just saying “oui” when I didn’t have my french language down. -Katrina

    • gschrubbe August 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      Thanks Katrina! Haha, now you are probably beyond fluent, whereas my tenuous grasp of Spanish (let’s call it “conversant”) still gets me into trouble!

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