Wednesday, February 4, 2009

As I'm feeling chatty

My Spanish has progressed from that of a two-year old: "something? I want... something? It's yellow. With something?" to that of a curious 6-year old: "It's... what is it again? What is that? Oh. Okay. Yes. Oh! It's SO PRETTY! Very very pretty!" But I can understand most of what is said to me now, which is, of course, a very big step forward.

But I still can't express myself to the full extent of my mental faculties, which is frustrating. Especially as the amount of concentration I spend on my Spanish has made my english deteriorate rapidly. I find myself unable to think of English words, or muddling my grammar. It's ridiculous.

This becomes increasingly difficult in especially important situations, such as hospitals. I had to go to the hospital yesterday because I was itching all over. Terrified that I may, once again, be Typhoid Mary, I rushed myself to the hospital. On the verge of tears, I looked helplessly around until the lady at the front desk brought me to the emergency room (which makes the whole thing sound way more desperate and intense than it was). The Costa Rican health system is amazing. Socialist medicine, they say, means waiting for hours. I beg to differ. I had brought a book with me, anticipating a long wait, but I never so much as found my page before I was called in to be assessed and diagnosed. And even though my doctor spoke Spanish, I still found myself struggling to communicate. There were literally points when I couldn't remember if I was speaking in English or in Spanish. But all's well that ends well and I walked out of there, the proud new owner of contact dermatitis medication. (Note to self: in the future, be careful what you wish for. On the way to the hospital I just kept thinking "As long as it's not scabies, as long as it's not scabies. I'll take ANYTHING but scabies. I hope it's something else...)

On the way back from my excursion, I developed my newest conspiracy theory involving Spanish-speaking sports radio stations. I fully believe that they are nothing but fake announcements and that taxi drivers tune to them to intimidate non-Spanish speaking customers. Pretty sure the station I listened to today was just a series of random, unconnected statements, related calmly but loudly and with too much emphasis on the vowels. "yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, la universidaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad de Costa Ricaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" "Da Sabanilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllla!!!!!!" "Todas las personAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASssssssssssssss!" "HOLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

It's damn cold here. The kind of cold where, back home, I would have turned the thermostat up and curled up in front of a heating vent. There is no heat here, and my whole host family keeps mentioning how cold it is, and how strange it is. That's right, that's what I thought. When I came here I expected gorgeous, rain-free days that allowed me to wear shorts or skirts everyday. This is supposed to be the tropics people! Imagine, cold in February! It should hace calor!

But today's constant light drizzle gave unto us the most epic rainbow I've ever seen in my life. It was a full and vibrant arc where the colors repeated. And you could see a larger, though very faint second rainbow starting off to its left. It was so beautiful that it made us all think of Lucky Charms.

No comments: