I said to myself yesterday that I needed a native-Spanish-speaking boyfriend, or else a native-Spanish-speaking friend, because I need Spanish in my life, and I need to use the language more than I currently do (hardly at all).
Tonight, at dinner, the waiter, who might also be the manager or owner or something, brought over to our table a handsome-looking young man, probably right around my own age, and explained that the guy knows very little English, and, if I would like, would be willing to work with me on improving my Spanish, if I would help him learn English. And no, I hadn’t told him about yesterday’s declaration.
Isn’t life awesome? 😀
To give a little context, – the waiter was not being crazy or anything, with his suggestion that the helper and I work on language together – I had asked the waiter, after interacting with him a few times in English, if he would speak to us in Spanish from now on. My mom had studied Spanish in high school, and then briefly in college, and has had plenty of interactions with Spanish in the years since then. I spent a summer in Spain while in high school, and had just used Spanish all over for a couple years after that. So, while it could be difficult at times, I figured we could handle it.
The waiter was delighted at the request, and instantly spewed out fast Spanish. My mom told him almost immediately (in Spanish), “But you have to speak more slowly, because I am a gringa.” (It’s essentially a term for foreigners.) We all laughed, and he acquiesced.
As the meal went on, the waiter would pause and chat with us here and there. He moved here from Mexico when he was 17 or 19 (I forget which), and don’t even know how to say ‘please’ in English. To help himself learn English, he watched the American movies, and had on the English subtitles, and action I fully approve and support, and which I have done plenty myself. He also spoke of how strong the Spanish-speaking community is in Houston, and that I need only get involved, and they will turn me into a Latina. He learned that we are not studying Spanish; that I speak Spanish, but just never use it; that I just lived back from Japan; and that I just have no friends here who speak Spanish. So it made sense that he brought over the guy later. And it wasn’t weird.
When we left, a while later, I gave the young guy my number on a napkin.