Friday, December 23, 2005
Back around 1988, I traveled to Acapulco with a girlfriend who was fluent in Spanish. While walking on the beach one day, we were approached by several people selling their wares -- arts and crafts, cigarettes, chewing gum. Anne and I quickly waved them off and continued along. I decided to let Anne deal with the next vendor and moved aside to gather some shells. When I looked back, she was still engrossed in conversation with the man. What was being said?
When he finally moved on and Anne joined me, I asked what the Mexican had been selling. I hadn't noticed him carrying any goods. She said that he had offered her jewelery -- gold. To put him off easily, she told the man that she could have gold anytime she wanted, that her father was in the business and could easily get it for her.
"Anne," I said. "Did he say gold jewelery?"
"He said gold -- Acapulco gold."
"Anne," I shrieked with laughter. "That doesn't mean gold gold. That means marijuana."
"Oh..." she said. "Everyone talks about Mexican silver, so I just assumed that Acapulco has a reputation for gold jewelery. That guy kept trying to convince me to buy from him so I let him believe my dad was a jeweler."
She and I continued to laugh as we realized what that "vendor" must have thought about her easy access to "gold."
Anne might have been speaking the same language that afternoon, but boy...was it a different dialect!