Posted by: heatherinparadise | March 18, 2009

You’re totally busted, dude.

This morning, after my weekly hour-long wait in the bank line, I hopped onto one of the tiny little colectivos to head back to the office. These particular colectivos are miniscule vans with seats around the inside rear cargo area and standing room in the center aisle. These vans are NOT ideal for anyone over, say, 5’5″ tall. Needless to say, when I get into and out of these “vans,” it’s like watching a clown at the circus getting out of a mini car.

The colectivo was pretty full when I got on and, as usual, there was blatant gawking at the rare appearance of a gringa on the route. I stood in the center aisle, but a woman tapped me and indicated a small space on the seat next to her.

Not wanting to be rude and decline her offer, and also hoping to straighten my back and remove my head from the roof, I squished myself next to her. In the process, I accidentally butted up against the legs of the teen boy to my left, who immediately jerked his knees away from my ass.

I heard the man across from me say, in Spanish, “She’s bigger than Mexicans,” with a sly nudge nudge/wink wink tone.

I looked right in his eyes and replied, in Spanish, “Yes, I have a big ass.”

His eyes got as big as saucers as he said, “You understand Spanish?!” Everyone around him laughed, as did I, and we chatted for the next 10 blocks.

Always an adventure.

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  1. So, I guess I wouldn’t fit on one of those colectivos either, as I am 5′ 11″ and don’t have a dainty ass anymore. I feel little, though, when I am standing next to my son who is 6′ 5 or even my daughter, who is 6′ 1″.

  2. More than a LOL moment! A hold your guts laughing one! Don’t you love it when moments like these happen.

  3. That’s priceless! Wayne’s right, holding my (ample) gut and laughing.

  4. LMAO…too funny!

  5. A guy I worked with some years ago was Hungarian. He was in an elevator in Seattle and two guys were discussing (in Hungarian) the large chest of a pretty girl in the elevator, of course assuming that no one would know Hungarian. Their secret language, right? Well, before my friend got out of the elevator he turned and said something like “they are gorgeous ripe melons, aren’t they” in Hungarian, and both guys were in utter shock.

    But now I know why I need to keep on studying my spanish!

  6. Heather, I love your blog! I live in Oaxaca and this happens to me all the time. I wonder why people never assume that, um, I might actually speak Spanish. I was walking the dog the other day (I have a big German Shepherd) and a group of high school boys started laughing and whispering at each other, “Give kisses to the perro! Give kisses to its owner!! Ohhh!” so I turned around and said, “Want some kisses from my perro?” and let the German Shepherd loose and they were all like, “AHHHHH!!” scattering in all directions. Good times.

  7. Thanks for your comments! Sarah, I have ALWAYS wanted to visit Oaxaca, hope to do so at some point in the next year or year and a half.

    You just reminded me of another time I busted someone…there were a bunch of construction workers hanging out on the corner after working on a site near my house. M. and I were walking our dogs and of course, my dog decides to crap right across the street from these guys. As I whipped out my little baggie and cleaned up the poop, I heard the guys across the street joking, saying things like, “Oh, why is she picking that up? It’s for dinner, it’s a gringo delicacy,” while they all laughed. So when I crossed the street, I held the bag up to them and said, “I have enough to share if you’d like to try it.” They looked stunned for a second, then just “BWA HAHAHAHAHA!!!”

  8. Dog poop? Yum! I’ll take an ounce and a few crackers!

  9. Classic. I love it when this stuff happens. The same has been true when my husband has been around people and they were speaking English. It has been pretty funny at times.

  10. That moment makes the day! I used to live in Aruba and they does this all the time, (they speak, dutch, english, spanish and papiamento) sometimes I was at any “colectivo” or bus and they determinate which is my language and in a few minutes the whole crowd was ripping my off (those tourism this, those young guys that, you know) I just laughing because, I can understand mostly of the times and leave the bus saying “thanks for all your advices, bedankt voor al uw adviezen (dutch) and tanki por tur bo consehu (papiamento)

    I know the feeling!

    soon I will go to Playa del Carmen!

  11. I love your blog! Whenever someone asks me where I learned all my spanish, I just point to my wedding ring, and say “I have the living dictionary at home!”

    Laura in Coz

  12. As they say, Laura, you “learned it on the pillow.”

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