I talk a lot of shit on this website about Latin Americans who want to speak English with you down here.
Those who want to come across as “MUY EDUCADO!!!!”
Those who look for gringos to sell shit to because they’ll pay extra usually beyond what locals do.
Others who are just ignorant about our Spanish levels or that all foreigners speak English when they don’t.
So on and so on.
Still, this will be a small article because it doesn’t need much explanation.
It’s to simply drive home the point that you shouldn’t be antagonistic to every single Latin American who wishes to speak English with you.
While you might find it annoying for obvious reasons, some forgiveness is needed.
Just the other day, I decided to get some boneless wings and some fries for Christmas eve before watching Bad Santa here.
Near me, there is this street food spot that offers really good food when it comes to nachos, boneless, salchipapa, etc.
I go there every so often because it’s a nice break from all of the taco and other Mexican food spots in the area.
As I wrote here, not every day in Mexico needs to involve eating Mexican food.
You live here for almost 5 years and, funny enough, you want an occasional hamburger or wings from time to time.
Oddly enough, not every meal needs to be Mexican food!
Putting the smartass comments away for a second, that’s what I had that day.
The dude who runs the place is quite nice either way.
Some young dude who seems to be on the up and up running his own place outside of his parent’s spot to make extra money.
Around a year ago when I lived in this neighborhood last time, I remember actually when he opened the place up for the first time.
I didn’t visit often though so I don’t think he remembers me.
But, over the last few weeks, he seems to have noticed what my “usual” is.
Either being salchipapa or boneless with fries.
Either way, I stopped by and ordered the usual – boneless with fries on that night before Christmas.
I had to hurry because my sister had messaged me before I left to get food and wanted to talk about our dad.
He’s been having health issues and other things she wanted to talk about.
One funny detail is the dude making the food always says “UN SEGUNDO!” whenever he takes my order but it never takes one second.
Usually takes 10 minutes to make the food.
Can I complain really?
It still tastes pretty good all for a small price of literally just over 3 bucks for 11 pieces of boneless and fries.
That’s one thing I like about Pedregal de Santo Domingo – the food is insanely cheap compared to some other areas.
Like the other day I literally bought a hamburger, fries and a hotdog for 55 pesos or 2.75 USD.
Not even Bolivia would be that cheap.
Regardless, the food came as quick as it did.
He put BBQ on the wings and ketchup and cheese on the fries.
That was it.
“Where You From?”
After I paid, the dude asked me in English “where you from?”
Now, as I said before in other articles, I will sometimes turn my severe autism powers over 9000 and pretend not to understand English if a local tries speaking to me in English down here in Latin America.
For various reason.
I’m not going to beat a dead horse though as to why I don’t like it so I left it at that.
Either way, I gave him the act.
Pretended to no understand his English.
“Where you from?”
“What is your native language?”
He then switches back to Spanish.
I told him “Ruso, Rusia.”
We carried the conversation from there in Spanish.
Thankfully, he wasn’t too inquisitive about “Rusia” because I always feel uncomfortable when they ask me to name the “Russian town” I’m from.
Given I don’t know any Russian towns or the Russian language in general, I always have to make up some bullshit sound when they ask “what part of Russia I’m from.”
Don’t want to say “Moscow” because that sounds too stereotypical.
It’s the capital after all!
So, if they are that inquisitive, I’ll usually make up a sound and say something like “brugahston” or some stupid ass shit.
They always nod away in silence afterwards thinking “ok, this guy’s retarded.”
I nod away back “si, si Señor.”
But, as I said, there were no questions about what specific Russian town I’m from that night.
Instead, just basic questions about what I’m doing in Mexico.
If I like Mexico.
So on and so on.
The dude actually is pretty cool and is easy for small talk as I wait for the food.
Personally, he doesn’t come across as any of the types way above that I mentioned.
When the Latin American is Just Nice
There’s nothing about the dude that screams “I’m an upper class Mexican who needs to show everyone how MUY EDUCADO I am by speaking English!”
Not that anyone in this neighborhood would give a shit anyhow.
Nor is the dude particularly trying to earn extra money from me.
He already has my money.
Given he’s the best person I can find in the neighborhood for boneless or salchipapa, he’ll always have me as a customer unless he pisses me off somehow.
So we’re good.
He doesn’t try to gringo price me.
No money motivation for speaking English either when he was asking me “where you from?”
So why did he ask that in English?
This is where I’d drive home a small point about life in Latin America.
As I said, I spend a good time shitting on those few in Latin America who do want to speak English for the reasons above.
And, to be honest, maybe the dude could deserve some shitting on.
Why does he feel the need to speak any English to me?
Does he really believe no foreigners speak Spanish?
I doubt it.
Given we’ve been conversing in Spanish just fine for over 2 weeks whenever I’ve shown up, he doesn’t seem to doubt my Spanish.
He doesn’t seem like he’s ignorant to the idea that foreigners living in Mexico can speak Spanish.
Truthfully, it just seems like the dude wanted to be polite.
Figured I was from the US (which is true), he probably assumed that I’m more comfortable speaking English than Spanish.
Was his English good?
I don’t know – he only said like 2 sentences in English.
“Where you from?”
“What is your native language?”
Even if his English is good, it doesn’t matter.
I’m only writing this mini story of relatively little importance that only 7 people will find interesting because I just want to emphasize that not every single local in Latin America who speaks English to you is a ignorant jackass that wants to rip you off or turn you out to be their free English tutor that makes them look MUY EDUCADO.
In fact, plenty are just normal folks who want to connect with you better.
Even if they do understand your Spanish, they might just want to come across as more likeable by speaking your language.
Nothing particularly wrong with that but I can still get how that might hit the wrong nerve for a few foreigners in the region.
Either way, that’s all this is – simply looking at another motivation for why the local might switch to English that, in my opinion, isn’t bad at all and actually kinda respectful in my opinion.
The dude just wants to come across as polite and say something that he thinks you’ll understand a tiny bit better in your language.
Anyway, that’s all I got to say.
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Thanks for reading.