Bilingual signs, accordions, botas picudas y más

I know that some people are totally against signs being put into any language other than English in the United States, but I think that most bilinguals would agree with me that it’s pretty awesome. It’s a learning opportunity, gente! Take advantage of it! Free mini-Spanish lessons in every aisle of K-Mart.

While I walked around admiring the new bilingual signs at our K-Mart, (which I love), I did catch a typo, though.

On some of the signs where they attempted to use the word “cuidado” (care), like this one for fabric care products – they had accidentally switched the “u” and “i” …Oops. I thought about letting management know but didn’t want to seem obnoxious, plus, what if it’s a nationwide typo? … I’ll send them an E-mail.

Other chévere things I spotted while out and about…

This accordion was at Goodwill – I wanted it, but I don’t have $200 and I don’t know how to play it, so that would be kind of pointless, unless I have a third kid, which I’m not going to do. (My oldest son plays trumpet and my younger son is learning to play violin. Carlos has a guitar he’s supposed to be learning to play… I’m trying to create my own personal mariachi group, but without a third child, I won’t be able to start a group to play me norteñas. Rayos.)

Anyway, a few weeks ago we went to eat lunch at a little local Mexican place which is kind of new. It’s not fancy and is privately owned. Its got the expected stereotypical Mexican decorations on the walls but the food is more authentic, there’s a TV that plays telenovelas that the women watch while they cook and the little kids of the employees run around freely in the dining room. It’s kind of nice and makes you feel like you’re eating at a friend’s house.

So while we were sitting there waiting for our food, some of the kids run by and go into the office to play. (They left the “office” door open and there’s actually a bed and a bunch of toys in there.) … While I was looking in that direction, I noticed the coat stand in the corner there. On top was one of the novelty sombreros, and hanging below that was one of the kids’ backpacks, (Washington Redskins themed.) … The symbolism, irony and clash of cultures existing there on that coat stand made me think.

This last photo is from just the other day. We were grocery shopping and while we were in the produce section, this group of Mexican guys walks past. Carlos was watching me so I looked down respectfully and didn’t flirt.

“Look!” Carlos whispered to me. Permission to look? Órale!
I looked up but was confused as to why Carlos wanted me to.
“The boots,” Carlos clarified, pointing with his chin.
“Oh! Botas picudas!”
“Okay, calm down,” Carlos said.

Apparently I had become too excited for his liking, I couldn’t take my eyes off the boots though.

“I wish I could take a photo,” I said wistfully.
Carlos examined an apple and ignored me.

I gauged Carlos’s mood carefully and decided to take a chance.
“Would it be weird if you asked one of them if I could take a photo of his boots?”

Carlos hesitated for a few seconds but before I knew it, he was leading me over to one of the guys who was putting tomatoes into a bag.

“Excuse me,” Carlos said in Spanish. “My wife likes your boots. Do you mind me asking where you got them?”

The guy seemed a little weirded out and kept looking at us funny. He looked over his shoulder, either looking for a hidden camera (or something worse), or perhaps trying to get his compañeros attention so they could come rescue him from the cuckoo Salvadoran guy and his gringa.

He told us where he bought them and that they cost him $300.

“They’re really nice,” Carlos lied, (because he hates botas picudas. He was only doing this for me.) “Do you think my wife could take a photo of your boots?”

The guy waited a second to see if Carlos was joking and then laughing nervously, nodded his head yes.

“Gracias! Son padrisimas!” I squealed with all the enthusiasm one might give to a movie star upon getting their autograph.

“Calm down,” Carlos reminded me.

“Okay,” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “Thanks, nene.”

I always say that he’s lucky to have me because I put up with his hot temper and celos … but I’m lucky to have someone who puts up with my locuras, too.

18 thoughts on “Bilingual signs, accordions, botas picudas y más

  1. Okay, since we’re confessing… I’ve wanted to take a lot of pictures of botas picudas on different guys tambien, but can you imagine como reaccionarian conmigo? jajaja, I mean that might be like basically asking for an ass-kicking, but they are so cool looking on and I just want to snap my little camera phone… have not made that confession to Anjelica yet, lol… but maybe I can get her to take the pictures for me :-) Good idea Tracy!

    • You made me LOL for real, hermano. I barely got away with doing this…. Now I’m imaging you walking up to some cool guys in botas picudas with all the excitement of a school girl, asking to take their photo. jajajajajjaja… Can’t imagine that going over well…. You definitely need to bring Anjelica with you!

  2. great post Tracy! I love the multicultural coat rack but I do think you should have gotten the accordian. It could be a good way to make a little extra money the next time you come here to visit. I bet no one in El Salvador has ever seen a gringa mariachi before, especially playing the accordian!

    • I would have made mad money if I set up at the malecón with my strange little wannabe mariachi group! …. and me, trying to play norteñas on accordion – that sound would have made even the aguacateros run away… jajaja ;)

  3. Pingback: OC Latino ‘Links’ for Wednesday, Sept. 28 - OC Latino Link : The Orange County Register

  4. I laughed at the thought of you starting your mariachi band ;-)

    We have a lot of bilingual signs in Canada and there are a lot of typos… I can’t help proofreading them, it makes my husband laugh. I caught the “cuidado” too. Proofing is a disease :lol:

    • What’s funny about my own mariachi band? Michael Jackson’s father forced all the kids into a music group… LOL.

      Are most of the signs in Canada in English and French? What other languages do you regularly get to see?

      I proofread everything too – cereal boxes, street signs, shampoo bottles, restaurant menus – it’s impossible not to. lol

  5. I like that comment that proofreading is a disease. I try not to antagonize my friends when they misspell in an email, but it hurts to ignore it. Also impressed wth your sensitivity to Carlos’ feelings.

  6. Pingback: Botas Picudas … now 30% picudier! «

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