picture of Billy Madison going Back to School

Hey, It’s Back to School Time!


Back to school, Back to school, So when I speak Spanish I don’t sound like a fool. Looking at all our friends and family’s Facebook comments back home, I have a hunch that the kiddies went back to school this week. I’m so happy Facebook wasn’t around when I was a kid to capture those Kodak moments. My family wasn’t exactly keeping up with the Jones’, so my new back to school wardrobe would usually consist of…hand-me-downs. That or a pair of cut-off jean shorts that were unevenly cut, or the pockets would be visible when I sat down. Guess I’m not very good with scissors. With all the back to school hype, my wife and I decided to go back to school in Panama as well.

We’re taking Spanish lessons twice a week at Buena Vida Spanish School in Pedasi. Many blogs, books, forums, friends, relatives, Dead Sea scrolls, etc. will all touch base on this subject at some point – Do I need to learn Spanish? Some people will say it depends where you live, blah blah blah. Sorry, there’s only one answer. Yes – you do! Why, you ask? Well, here’s a conversation I had the other day when I called for a taxi:

ME
Hola, es Anel?

ANEL
(presumably) qewryeufzgdfahsbrafbd  asdufhsdfz dhfadh aeuyruyhvburyt

ME
Uhhh, me nombre as Al. Es Anel?

ANEL (still presumably) qeuwrpeiaeui raesiru aeoiur adjfh alskjdfhweiuryfhdscbn aeury.

ME Uh…taxi?

ANEL
(I’ll stop putting presumably because I never really found out over the phone)
Si. Ajdhflkadsfh uweryufhjh aludshfksh.

ME
Necesito voy desde Limon a Restaurante Smiley’s. Es possible?

ANEL
akdfja ajdsfh al mi hijo adkfjadkh kjadhfak df cinco ocho siete nueve some other numbers jadfhaljdfh.

At this point I figured he was giving me a number of someone else, so I started scrambling for a pen and paper, but wait, Anel had more to say…

ANEL
Ahh, si…asdjfh weuroeafhdcb WYERFHSSBV ARLIUTYFZHCajsdh faskdjfh audsf dasyqa cincuenta.

ME
En cincuenta minutos?

ANEL
Si, dajfhsdlkf cincuenta.

ME
(overcome with joy I got 50 minutes) Es possible veinte minutos?

ANEL
aeuiryuhsdflkajheriuyiu ajdfh aldsgf qwuey navnncxbv luego auiy fd va a somewhere.

ME
Okay, veinte minutos, si?

ANEL
(presumably giving in)
Si, luego.

ME
Bueno, gracias!

And 25 minutes later Anel showed up, only two minutes late. I got skillz! Anel was driving a beat up old pick-up truck, not a taxi. He was an older dude with a Panama hat, worn how they wear them here in the Azuero peninsula – peak flipped up. It turns out that he lent his taxi to his son, who was in Playa Venao. Anel drove 50 clicks an hour and the truck sounded like it needed a…um…I’m not a mechanic, but I’m sure it needed a flux capacitor or something because it rattled worse than a…um…not really good with analogies either, but it had a pretty sic rattle. Did I use sic right? All the kids say it. “Oh man, that’s sic”…No, sick is what your farts smell like after eating a bucket of KFC. Oops, digressed again.

Well, I think that’s a pretty sic reason to learn Spanish – so it’s back to school for these two sic kids. Buenda Vida Later dudes!

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