This morning, my Costa Rica blogger friend (meaning I’ve never laid eyes on her but we chat like we are best friends), Erin, wrote about speaking Span-glish. Which newbie expats do A LOT! I love going to a restaurant where the waiter is practicing his English and we are practicing our Spanish. There’s an interesting conversation. A bi-lingual conversation with both of us struggling for words, helping each other out. Fun!
Hal has been volunteering at a local not-for-profit English school. Speaking English is the number one way a tico can get a better job. Beginning speakers of English really want to practice with native speakers and don’t get that much opportunity. So when I’m out and about now or on the phone with a local, I ask if s/he speaks English. Mostly I get no (which in my "I love this country" persona, pleases me. We haven’t ruined them yet.) Plus I get to practice my Spanish.
But, when I get yes or poco a poco [a little] or mas o menos [more or less], I speak English so they can practice. Like Erin, I don’t like seeing menus in English, signs in English, prices in dollars. Because usually it means prices are higher, they are catering to gringos. But I sure do understand wanting to earn a decent wage and living a more comfortable life. In Costa Rica, that requires speaking English.
Hal has hired a tutor to come to our house 6 hours a week, starting next week. We are all sick of getting half the conversation and struggling in every conversation!!! You put off the simplest things because you know it will be twice as difficult to manage. And we are so close to being able to speak decent Spanish (the boys are so far beyond us, it’s crazy). Still far from fluent, por supuesto [of course], pero mucho mejor que hace un año [but much better than a year ago]!