A few days ago, I left my apartment to get another bottle of brandy at the nearby Walmart.
With some of the dates over the last week or so, I’ve gone through the brandy that I already bought.
To be fair, I’ve neglected to touch the vodka or whiskey because I usually prefer brandy with my black tea since the taste works a little bit better.
So time for another bottle!
The walk to the nearby Walmart anyway is about 10 minutes at most?
So it’s about 8 or 9 PM as I get on walking and I get there soon enough…
To which I’m inside the shopping mall where the Walmart is located.
Once I step up to the shopping mall, I put my mask and go to the entrance of the Walmart in which I do the little head temperature thing….
And then they ask me to use the hand sanitizer.
Now, over the last 4 or so months, they would normally just have a bottle of hand sanitizer for me to use.
Instead, they had this big ass thing that was about up to my chest in height in which it had some thing to squirt out hand sanitizer.
I put my hand under it thinking it would automatically squirt hand sanitizer out.
Then I realized I’m in Mexico and we aren’t technologically advanced enough just yet for the automatic machines to detect hand presence to activate.
Give us another 5 years…
Joking aside, I realize anyway it’s not hand automatic and start fucking with this grey thing that is under the opening that squirts out hand sanitizer.
Trying to lift the grey thing up and down to see which way to move it is needed to get the hand sanitizer and move on.
However, that wasn’t working either.
Then I hear someone say “pie! Pie!”
It was some worker at the entrance who was yelling “foot! Foot!” in Spanish.
Now, in the moment, I understood fine what “pie” meant but I’m confused by what the hell she is going on about.
I look down at my feet and look back at her.
Now, to be defence, I was genuinely tired and all that jazz.
Maybe that’s why her yelling out “foot! Foot!’ didn’t connect with me in the moment when it should’ve been obvious what she was trying to say.
Still, in that moment, the lady comes over and uses her foot to point towards this little thing I’m supposed to step on to get the thing to squirt out hand sanitizer.
So, as you see, Mexico is advancing faster than I expected.
I did not foresee them to have the technological advancement to have one of those devices where you can use your foot to step on something to make it work.
Therefore, my previous assessment about the arrival of hand motion activated sensors arriving in 5 years might be a bit off…
Give it 4 and half instead!
Still, I step on the thing and that was it.
For my hand sanitizer.
As I walked away, I overheard someone behind me (this other male worker) throw a comment about how “we foreigners need to learn Spanish.”
Or something along those lines basically judging my lack of Spanish in that incident.
In which, to be fair, the one word commandment “foot! Foot!” should’ve been enough to understand what the chick meant.
Though, as I said, in my defence, I did understand that she was yelling “foot” but was just confused as to why she was concerned with my feet.
I mean – I get it – my feet are huge and obviously, when your feet are huge, something else is huge…
And though I could’ve retorted back “well, let’s see how good your English is” give I’m the one who learned a foreign language and he, in all likelihood, hasn’t…
I didn’t let it bother me.
But did see a learning opportunity in this experience to shed light on a relatively irrelevant moment that comes with living in Latin America as a foreigner.
It’s honestly not that important of a lesson but something that could be mentioned briefly so let’s get to the point.
In my life, I’ve spent 6 years so far living in Latin America and studied Spanish formally for 8 years.
And did quite well in any Spanish class I took.
Though, as I wrote here, I’m not fluent in the language by any means.
There is likely some obscure grammar rule that I have forgotten.
My pronunciation with my accent can sometimes be thick for a local who has no experience talking with foreigners.
And there will always be new vocabulary words that I haven’t learned.
Still, despite the experience, you will have your days.
No matter how serious you have taken to learning Spanish (or any foreign language), it is my opinion that there will come moments in which you “dip out” mentally.
Let me explain….
When I first practiced Spanish by living in Guatemala nearly a decade ago, I remember that speaking and listening in Spanish was very much a mental exercise.
Not only do you have to put in the mental word to make out the words that someone is saying and translate those words into English…
But you also have to think how to translate something from English into Spanish when responding.
As I have said in other articles, it resembles something like that show “To Be a Millionaire” as you can see here…
In which you got 4 options when speaking to nice Mexican ladies of Tinder for example!
Option 1: Tu … tu…. quieren….. cerveza?
Option 2: Tu … tu …. Quiero ….. cerveza?
Option 3: Tu …. Tu ….. quieres …. Cerveza?
Option 4: Ya cállate puta, quiero poner mi verga grande en tu boca mujer….asi es, linda zorraaaaa, disfrútala bien.”
And only one of the options is grammatically correct!
But you spend the mental energy trying to think how to conjugate each verb as if you were in a live Spanish test in class.
For obvious reasons, it’s always been my opinion that you don’t truly learn Spanish until you actually practice it in the real world beyond the classroom.
Now, to be fair, that all goes away eventually.
No longer do I have to put in the mental energy into making out the words and translating every single thing.
Nor do I treat speaking like it’s an old game show from American TV.
Having said that, because it’s not my native language, you can still have “mental check out” days.
Especially if you are more of an introvert like I am.
Where simply hanging out with someone can mentally drain you of energy.
But regardless of if you are an introvert or not…
When drained out of energy…
Be it because you just woke up…
Or had a long day and ready to sleep..
Or whatever it might be!
You simply are ready to “check out mentally.”
And, regardless of how good your Spanish gets, it’ll always be a non-native language to you.
Consequently, it’s not unusual for you to “mentally check out” and stop paying attention to what people are saying around you.
Which doesn’t mean you don’t understand them (you likely will) but you just don’t give as much of a fuck about what is being said.
And things can more easily fly over your head.
Same thing when you do understand them!
Someone yelling at you “foot! Foot!”
And, because you are out of energy for the day, the implied meaning behind what they are trying to say goes over your head.
You might also understand that they are saying “foot! Foot!” but you are taking it too literally.
In which, like I was in that incident, you look at your foot and go…
“The fuck you care about my foot for?”
Then you realize the obvious…
“Well, she must be amazed at how sexy my feet are. They are quite huge!”
Still, because of my lack of energy or because of my 9000% level autism…
I took her “foot! Foot!” comment too literally and wondered why she cared so much about my feet…
And didn’t realize in the second that she was trying to imply that I need to use my feet to use the machine.
Would’ve been helpful if she had been more direct in saying “you got to use your feet” and not just yell “foot! Foot!”
But, in that moment, I guess you can say I was having a “mental check out” day as I was already tired and the day was already dark.
So that’s the overall point – understand that, no matter how good your language is, you will have “mental check out” moments when you are too tired or whatever if the language isn’t your native language.
Be it Spanish or whatever.
For me, it happens maybe once every few months if someone catches me on a moment in which I’m too tired.
And that’s all really that should be said.
A minor aspect to living down here but something to mention, I suppose.
Follow my Twitter here.
Enjoy this Russian Doomer music that I was listening to as I wrote this article just now.
And thanks for reading.