So last night I went for dinner at Doc Green's and decided to try a wrap rather than a salad. I had a little communication problem with the guy making the wrap...I wanted to substitute an ingredient, but he didn't understand me at first. He was a native Spanish speaker, but the problem was compounded by 1) the vocal child standing beside me, who did not belong to me (why is she standing next to me?? Hello, parents??) and 2) I have trouble hearing in crowds, anyway and 3) the fact that my short stature puts my mouth lower than the glass divider. We got it straightened out eventually.
Then I went to the cash register and the checkout guy, a native English speaker, asks me, "What side do you want with that?"
"Corn casserole," I reply.
Checkout Guy turns to another native Spanish speaker beside him and says, "Casserole day corn."
(!) "Excuse me," I say, "did you just say casserole de corn??"
"Yes," he explains, "he understands it better."
Hmmm...yes, that one Spanish word inserted between two English words must make all the difference in the world. "Couldn't learn to say 'corn' in Spanish?" (I must interject here that Checkout Guy and his other buddy Cash Register guy have already been jesting with me and others...I wasn't being a total boor.)
He turns to his coworker again: "What's Spanish for 'corn'?" "¿Como se dice 'corn' in español?" I supply.
Now, for those of you that don't speak Spanish, that would be pronounced about like, "Mah-EASE". So Checkout Guy, who obviously learned his gradeschool Thanksgiving lessons about Pilgrims and Indians says, "Oh, 'maize'," which he pronounces "maze".
"No," I say, "mah-EASE."
"Meyes. Casserole de meyes."
"Close enough," I say, and run out the door with my wrap.
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