Sunday, November 26, 2006

Confession 6 - Flirtations, Etc.

It's cabbage confession time! Now I will warn you, there are some confessions that I don't actually post because, well, there is not really any way for me to post them without being a bit more graphic than I would like to be. That being said, I will continue.

To all my devoted confession followers, I thank you. Normally I would feel like a moderately-to-excessively abnormal person for posting such random stories, but your feedback makes my lack-of-social-life-due-to-my-crazy-job seem worth the sacrifice.

I would also like to thank my Financial Statement Analysis teacher for giving us a 15 page report assignment. Why? Because one of the by products of my procrastination is the fact that I can't bear sitting and doing nothing. Were I to do that, I would go insane and be racked with guilt. Instead, I engage in other productive activities that otherwise would not likely get done, just because that way I can at least justify my procrastinating. One of these "productive" activities consists, of course, of posting new confessions.

Okay, preface is done. Confession time!

Amongst the things that I keep track of with my job, I seem to find it amusing to track how many times I have been hit on by people. Don't worry, it's not an egotistical thing. I just think it's hilarious the things people do and say when they are in a chemically altered state of conscience. To add a bit to the amusement factor, I have divided it into many times I have been hit on by girls vs. guys.

So what's the count?

Girls: 5
Guys: 2 or 3?

The reason for the question mark is that I'm honestly not sure if the following confession counts or not.

Okay, I was driving a group of 4 very amusing and even moreso drunk people to their father's house. Three of them (two girls and one guy) were siblings and there was a friend as well. I was priviledged enough to hear about all the drama of the evening, though it was mostly just unique and laughable drama as opposed to that of the awkward and lamentable variety.

Amongst the drama of the evening somehow they had hinted that the brother was gay, but I wasn't quite sure. I didn't really care either way, I was just having fun being amused by their comical drunken stories.

Then out of the blue, the guy in the back seat asked me if he could pay for the cab by... well... you can use your imagination. And I'll give you a hint, it didn't consist of the use of any currency.

So, I'm not sure if I should add that to my count or not. And that's my current predicament.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Confession 5 - The Comprehensibility of a Drunk Mexican vs. a Drunk French Person

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting VS. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I must preface this blog for a moment. Normally I try to keep my cabbage confessions in relative chronological order. However, I just had to post this one because it was so unusual. Not unusual in a dramatic way, just unexpected.

As many of you know, I seem to have a knack for foreign languages. I find them to be a lot of fun and I seem to be pretty good at them as well. I usually am completely excited at the opportunity to actually use them and speak with people, even if those people don't actually speak the language or are able to respond. Somehow, we still manage to communicate.

Last night I picked up a couple of Mexican guys from old town during a slow moment of the night. I at least thought they were Mexican because they appeared to be. But when they spoke, I could understand almost nothing of what they said. I occasionally could catch a "está" and "cuanto", but that was about it. If they were speaking Spanish, which I was pretty sure they were, it was either extremely ghetto and full of slang, or else they weren't enunciating anything. It was probably both. But regardless, I decided to not try my luck. I would just pretend to be the typical monolingual American.

Perhaps the only thing as cool as being able to speak another language is being able to understand people when they speak it, but still pretend that you don't. That way when the moment comes that you do actually spout something out in their language, they are completely taken back.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen in this situation. I just wnated to get them home safely and find more fares because it was a slow night. So when I took them to their drop of point, I was surprised when the one who actually spoke relatively good English paid, got out, and left, while the non-English speaker remained in the back seat.

"Do you need to go somewhere else?" I asked.

"fwa hunidwsa qnickui fenwonfu" he replied. Okay, he didn't actually say that, but that's about what it sounded like to me because I couldn't understand a single word this guy was trying to say. Who knows? Maybe's that's what he actually did say.

I knew I could speak Spanish with this guy, but that would only facilitate part of the communication. He would be able to understand me. I would be completely hopeless to understand him. Plus my speaking Spanish would only encourage him to keep speaking Spanish, so we would get nowhere. For this reason I kept with the "ignorant monolingual American" role and tried to get what he was saying in English. Occasionally he would actually form some Spanish words that I could understand, but I still had no idea where he wanted me to go. All I could understand was "barro" "familia" and something about chicken.

I prayed that he wasn't actually saying "pollo" (chicken), because the last thing I want to be doing at 11:30 pm on a Saturday night is driving an incomprehensible drunk Mexican in a cab full of chickens. I'm quite sure that there would be feathers flying everywhere, wings flapping, and some particularly lamentable Spanish polka music in the background to complement the scenario.

So, I told him to just direct me where to go as we drove. Making delightfully effective use of fingers and gestures, we managed to communicate well enough to get him to his destination. I should have guessed it, but I had completely spaced it. He actually wanted to go to "Polo's" Mexican bar. I was relieved. Now he just needed to pay and be off on his merry way so he could have fun speaking Spanish with other people who were actual native speakers, and maybe go watch a chicken fight or something. At this point, I started to drop Spanish words "dos cincuenta" to speed up the process. But then he stalled before actually paying me.

"¿You have familia?" he asked me.

"" I replied.

"¿Why you no have familia?" he further inquired.

Oh no. No no no no. We are not going into this subject, and especially since there is no way that you're even going to be able to understand my words I'm saying, let alone my actual reasons for not having a family.

"Porque no estoy casado." (because I'm not married) I replied, hoping that would satisfy him. It didn't.

"¿Porqué no está casado?' he continued asking. He looked completely taken back, as if I was the only person on the planet that didn't have children and was a complete anomolie.

Ugh. I really didn't want to explain all of this to him, so I tried my best to say "It's complicated" hoping that would finish it off. Fortunately for me, it worked. He shook my hand with a big wide smile and wished me a good noche.

I was completely relieved that the whole situation was over, and I had even managed to get out of it without having to drive a bunch of chickens to who knows where.

The night continued to be extremely slow, even through the bar rush at 2:00am, when usually so many people want a cab that it's near impossible to get one. Fortunately there were at least some people who needed a ride. Incidentally, at about 2:00, I picked up a group from Old Town Square and proceeded to drive them home. One of the most fun parts of this job is getting to actually talk with people (or rather listen to them), so I started to make conversation with a girl in her mid twenties sitting in the front seat. I recognized that she had an accent, but she didn't say very much initially, so I couldn't quite pick up what it was. So, I asked her where she was from.

"I'm from France" she replied.

I was stoked. I couldn't contain my enthusiasm. I immediately responded,

"Ah! Vous parlez français alors!" (Ah, you speak French then !) It seemed to take a moment for it to click with her that what I had said was actually French, but she definitely understood me. So we got to have a very animated conversation in French while the rest of the people in the group were completely astonished that their cab driver actually spoke it.

If you don't know it by now, my personality seems to change quite noticeably when I speak French. Suddenly, I become much more animated, my facial expressions and vocal tones change completely, as does my sarcasm and personality overall. It's like I have a completely different French character. I guess that's what you get after you live in France for two years.

What surprised me the most by this story, however, was how easy it was to understand her, a drunk French girl as opposed to the drunk Mexican guy I drove earlier. I could understand her perfectly. I was hopeless to understand the Mexican. All in all, it was a truly delightful experience to actually be able to dust off my French a bit and still be able to use it and have a blast and even get paid for it in the process.

And I was totally relieved that she never mentioned anything related to needing to go pick up some chickens, even though her husband (who was in the back seat) was in the CSU vet program. I just don't think French music would have gone well with a car full of chickens.