Banana Envy

Image source: keepon

I mentioned before that the Mexican guys Carlos works with often give him a hard time as the lone Salvadoran. It doesn’t help that most of them are somehow related – (brothers and cousins), and that most of them live together, so it’s natural for them to gang up on him.

His first week working there, they tested the waters with Carlos, to see how far they could go with their teasing.

“Ey, Don,” one of them said to him at lunch time as they sat across the table from each other. (“Don” is what they call him when they don’t call him “Pupusa.”)

“Tengo una lancha. Tal vez quieres montarla un día?” (“I have a boat. Maybe you’d like to ride it one day?”)

Carlos politely agreed, sure, he’d love to take a ride on his lancha some day.

All the Mexican guys started laughing. It took Carlos a minute to realize that “lancha” is slang for “penis” – or at least it is within their group.

This is the “art” of the Mexican “albur.”

“In Mexico, an albur is a pun or a double entendre in which one of the possible meanings usually carries sexual undertones.”
– Wikipedia.

Carlos has a sense of humor so usually he doesn’t let it get to him, even if it annoys him to be their permanent piñata. (I really hope his boss hires some Salvadorans for Carlos’s “team” though, so at least it will be an evenly matched fight.)

Many of the on-going jokes occur at lunch time and revolve around food. Whenever Carlos brings a less than impressive lunch, they tease him and say, “I guess Sancho is eating all the good food at your house” – (implying that I’m cheating on him and making all the good food for my lover, while leaving the scraps for Carlos.)

The bananas are apparently also always a source of amusement. (Not much has changed since middle school, I see.)

The bananas we buy, (which are perfectly normal-sized bananas from a perfectly normal grocery store), are much smaller than the gigantic bananas the Mexican guys bring in their lunch. Carlos texted me this photo at lunch time:

Carlos's banana on the left. A Mexican co-worker's banana on the right.

I will have to reassure Carlos that the size of his banana is totally normal, above average even, and that I like it just the way it is. Besides, things could always be much, much worse.

Image source: cthoyes

More posts about my husband’s co-workers:

El Lechero (The Milkman)
Mexicans vs. Salvadorans
Lunch Envy


  1. jajaja!!! Estos paisanos mexicanos no se de donde vienen! I had never heard the “lancha” thing before… orale! I guess here in Veracruz it would be impossible to communicate, since having a lancha is the norm for people… living on the coast and all! Ay ay ay!

    Pero si, el albur es todo un arte amiga. Carlos needs to learn some good answers to get back at these mexicanos montoneros! (I know my people!).
    Un abrazote!

  2. Cuando lo molesten con lo de la lancha, que diga que si quieren un viajecito en El Titanic!!!!
    Esos guineos/bananas están algo chiquitines PERO…. muchas veces esas frutas grandotas no tienen NADA de sabor! Les han metido hormonas radioactivas para que sean grandotas y bien “nice/yummy” looking pero le pegas la mordida y nada de sabor. Las chicas, compactan su sabor… so there! las cosas buenas vienen en envases pequeños (that also applies for me jijijiji)

    • That is hilarious. Pobre Carlos! Good thing he’s a good sport about it. Definitivamente good things can come in small packages!

  3. jajaja Dile a Carlos que se debería sentir honrado! El hecho de que le hagan ese tipo de comentarios y bromas quiere decir que les cae bien :) Creemelo, si nos les callera bien le harían su vida una completa pesadilla. Ademas lo llaman “Don”, que solo se usa en Mexico para una persona a la cual le tenemos respeto! It takes a while to get used to the albur mexicano, even longer to learn to respond to it, but once you do it’s so much fun! ;)

  4. LMAO! Yes, I’m sure he will need lots of reassurance when you get home. Hugo works with his brothers and sometimes he’ll repeat stories of the other guys, and it is either completely negative and they completely blow the guy off( mostly the gringos, due to being “complete lluebones!”) or they tease them mercilessly, meaning they really like them. They definitely really like him!

  5. OMG, rofl at claudiadelcid’s comment. I almost choked laughing. I totally agree. The small bananas taste so delicious in Puerto Rico they sell como pan caliente/like hot cakes. We eat them fried, yum. Hard to find though.

    Yep, your husband should learn some good answers. Eventually they will get bored and move to the next person. Good thing your husband doesn’t let it get to him.

    These comments are hilarious, thanks for the laughs :-D

  6. He could have counter argumented that the smaller ones are always the sweetest, lol

    When it comes to tasty vs. bulky, tasty it is for me. Though I sort of get the feeling this isn’t a deliberation about bananas anymore?

  7. Hola Tracy
    Your stories (well and Carlos) always make me laugh. I can’t relate to being teased at work, but clearly remember when I first arrived to the US with a classroom full of Cubans and 2 Colombians. My brother and I were teased because if how we spoke.
    With so many Salvadorans in the DC area, I’m surprised Carlos is the only one at his work.

    • It is surprising given the large Salvadoran population in the DC metro area, but at all the jobs he’s had over the years in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, he has worked with mostly gringos and Mexicans… I don’t think he’s ever had a single Salvadoran co-worker, actually.

      Thanks for the comment, Nina! (Hope you weren’t teased too badly.)

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