Je ne parle pas anglais.

Posted on December 1, 2011


I will never understand why people, usually men, think they are doing me a favor by bothering me when I’m spending time by myself. They all seem to think that their company is some sort of generous blessing, as if I couldn’t possibly be alone by choice. Unfortunately, this is twice as annoying anywhere in Latin America. If there is one quality all Latino men possess, it is unwavering persistence. They always manage to find me at the most undesirable times, like when I’m reading a book, stuffing my face or flossing my teeth. And once they find me, they never fucking go away.

No one likes getting bothered incessantly in a bar or club, much less when you’re trying to give yourself a relaxing vacation. My usual trick, when approached, is to pretend that I don’t speak Spanish, which I do. This has proven ineffective in Costa Rica, where most people also speak English. In these cases, I pretend that I don’t speak either. A lot of people abroad have told me that I look German. Unfortunately, I don’t speak German, so I usually fall back on an old favorite: French. I studied French for quite a few years, so naturally it makes for an excellent runner-up. When this doesn’t work, I start blabbering like a crazy person and wander away.

Can’t a girl just relax in peace?

In the process of writing the first two paragraphs of this post, I have already been berated twice by the same fat idiot who lured me aimlessly through the jungle yesterday in pursuit of some mysterious waterfall that I’m convinced doesn’t actually exist (for details, see my previous post). The first time was to ask, for the third time in two days, if I would like to get high with him. The second was to ask if I was sure that I didn’t. It went something like this:

“Heyyy,” He mumbles, a wooden marijuana pipe hanging between his slobbery lips.

“Hi,” I respond, acknowledging his presence but quickly redirecting my gaze to my computer screen.

“Wanna drag on my pipe?” he asks, a question with a blatantly obvious double-meaning.

“No, thank you. I’m working,” I reply. What I really mean is, “No, you duck-lipped, afro-sporting, chain-smoking moron, I do not want to ‘drag on your pipe.’ I want to share your spit about as much as I want to make out with a stray dog.” I start typing furiously on my laptop while he stares at me for a few long moments, then eventually wanders away.

Another photo example of my duck-lipped companion.

The fat idiots aren’t the only ones who will bother you endlessly. Quite often it’s a decent fellow who simply has horrible timing. This very afternoon I was lying on the beach, frying my skin to the tone of a burnt potato chip.  Half-asleep and totally blissful, I was approached by a kind young man with a terrible stutter. As annoyed as I was to be disturbed during prime sun hours, I found his speech impediment so endearing that I didn’t even pretend I couldn’t understand Spanish. For God’s sake, he was having trouble speaking his own language. It would be cruel to force him to try to converse with me in English! I think he invited me to some reggae night at a local bar, but I was far too distracted to pay him ample attention. All I could think about was a Text From Last Night I had read in which the author admitted that, upon hearing someone stutter, he or she would inadvertently yell, “R-R-R-REMIX!”

Yes, I know. I’m going to Hell.

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