“Hablas Espanol?”

Response to a common question: “Do I speak Spanish?”

When you have some time to kill at the airport (LAX in particular) it can reveal odd things… I watched this young girl wearing the highest heels I have seen all day, scurry across the sealed concrete floor.  She is lost and looking around for other dark skinned patrons.  She walks up to a guard and asks, “Hablas Espanol?” But he doesn’t speak Spanish, he is not even Latin, he’s Filipino.  He points in the direction of the bathroom, but that’s not what she’s looking for. No luck.  Her heels clack on…

I realized I will be that girl soon (minus the high heels) and I better learn better Spanish.  I keep joking that I am relying on my 2 years of high school language course will come back to me, but the reality is I need more than that.  I have been listening to audio tracks in the car, I am watching Spanish movies, but I’m not practicing conversation.  So I signed up for a travellers course once I get to Antigua, Guatemala.  I will spend a week being tutored one on one in Spanish and living with a host family for a full immersion experience.  It has been suggested time and time again for a better experiences, it’s best to know the language.  I am lucky to be trekking throughout such extensive distances and able to get away with just one language (it wouldn’t be as easy to do this in Europe.)