¿Eres miope? Javi asked.
¿Un otra vez, porfa? [say it again, please] I said.
¡Ahhh, jaja… si… claro… soy tu au pair! [yes, of course... I am your au pair]
[insert roar of laughter]
I love Sevillanos and their unique Spanish accent where they drop the ending of almost every word, but sometimes it made speaking and understanding the Spanish language exceptionally difficult.
Take this instance for example. Porfa is short for por favor which means ‘please.’ Easy, right? But take a word like miope (pronounced: mee-o-pe) and you have me confused. Why? Because in Spanish, it sounds like Javi was attempting to communicate “my au pair” but just decided to drop the ending, like he had done in every other sentence like a true man from Andalusia.
This is when context is vital for a foreigner. If you don’t understand or don’t think you understand, always refer to context, context, context so as not to embarrass yourself like me. Learn from my mistake, friends.
The context was that we were waiting in line to visit St. George’s Castle. We were chatting and showing one another our drivers license and photo ID’s. I pulled out my recent university ID where I had been wearing my glasses, and Javi asked me how long I had worn glasses for. Then we had the above conversation.
After the uproar of laughter, especially coming from my Spanish parents, they explained my little error:
miope: adjective; means: near-sighted, or inability to see far away.
I should have known. I was on a trip with 5 different doctors and their families, including an opthamologist! So silly me when I thought he was telling me that I was his au pair, as I nodded my head in agreement while patting him on his back as if to say, sure I’ll be your nanny to a 40-something year old man.
The joke of the trip became eres miope and all of the adults loved to say that to me. It kind of became endearing towards the end, ha.
Many say Lisbon resembles San Fransisco, California and I could see why. From the famous 25th de Abril bridge which is twins with the Golden Gate, to the fact that both cities sit not only alongside an ocean, but on top of seven steep hills… to the historic cable cars. Now, sadly I have NO photos of these darling bright yellow cable cars. This is due in part, because I had at least three kids sitting on my lap at all times. And the fact that our Portuguese cable driver must not have been aware of the laws and regulations of the cable car size limit because we were packed like sardines in that thing! Add in the element of riding this tram for a solid 30 minutes down the steep and narrow Lisbon streets, and it made for one fun adventure!
Lisbon is famous for their hand-painted tiles which are seen all throughout the streets and on the buildings of the city!
This little one was my mini-me for the weekend. Wherever I went, she went. Whatever kind of ice cream I ordered, she ordered. Ha! Really, all she wanted me for was my camera. Because she took over 1,500 photos on my memory card by the end of our 4 day weekend!
My favorite quote from dear Lucia was after asking how old I was and me responding “23 years old” she said, “Woah! You’re older than my grandma!” Ha! Her mom had to explain to her that 76 is in fact a larger number than 23. ;)
We had a beautiful time in Portugal and it will always be one of my favorite trips while in Europe, filled with too many fun and silly memories that I couldn’t condense into two posts! I’ll never forget the time when we were in an ancient monastery for Catholic Mass when my kiddos burst into laughter thus majorly disrupting the service, and were scolded in Portuguese by an old woman. Or ALL the times we ventured to McDonald’s (of all places!) for food and spent too many hours playing Ticket to Ride. I loved my shopping trips to Lisbon’s epic mall (Spain had nothing in comparison!) to peruse the shops, and our car ride home was far too much fun playing “Seven Words” with the men… it was certainly a weekend where we learned to embrace my Spanish Family’s motto in life… SALTA, SALTA… or JUMP, JUMP. Always take risks, and live life to the full.