Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Shop Girl in Washington DC
It’s so clean I’m tempted to drop litter just to test whether a gnome pops out of somewhere to pick it up.
So far I’ve resisted because I’m concerned the gnome may issue a million dollar fine.
We’ve been staying with my sister-in law (to be), her husband and their 3 year old son.
I was so nervous about meeting them that I couldn’t eat my free packet of pretzels on the plane.
I remained nervous the day after our arrival as the immensity of our trip hit me.
Speaking Spanish felt as uncomfortable as the ulcer I’d developed on my tongue and I worried my new nephew would sense my fear and attack me with a plastic Star Wars laser beam.
Of course that initial anxiety is long goneand has been replaced with a good feeling.
I love being part of this new family. It’s so special hearing this smiley child say, ‘Hasta mañana tios’ (‘See you tomorrow uncle and auntie’) to me and the Fiance.
Of course, as an Auntie I feel it’s my duty to teach him proper English.
Eating out recently, I found it hilarious that the American waiter couldn’t understand me when I asked for a glass of water. A table of Colombians and I, born and raised in England speaking English, was the only one who couldn’t be understood
“Water,” I said, again, in my best Queen’s English.
“Wa- Wa- Waaat?” the waiter replied.
“Water,” I repeated.
“Warra,” my little nephew says, later.
“Warra,” he says, giggling.
I shall not give in. Nor, daresay, will he.
Slowly I will introduce ‘pavement’ ‘lift’ and ‘rubbish’ to his vocabulary.
Then I’ll do the same with Spanish from Spain, because with so much Colombian slang around me, I don’t know what’s going on.
A bit of Catalan might not go amiss either.
I’m only teasing really, hearing American accents everywhere makes me feel like I’m in a film.
They’re so friendly too.
In fact, I can’t get over how chirpy they are when they’re working.
Shop assistants and waiters all introducing themselves and wishing you the greatest day of your life, even when you are the hundredth person they’ve served that morning.
What are they all on? I wonder.
As Shop Girl such chirpiness was reserved for special occasions and not for each and every customer.
Then again, I never expected a massive tip.
Is it too late to hope for one now?
I mean, obviously I want you to have a super dooper day!