I’m not going to lie, being in a foreign country alone has left me with more time on my hands than I care to admit. There’s only so many days I can go to a bar at 1pm because my classes are over. Because of that, I’ve developed a few different pastimes to help fill my free time, and they all involve messing with random Peruvians on the street.
I’m here in South America because most people speak Spanish, which I like to pretend I can do as well. What’s a lot more fun, though, is going to restaurants where the waiters speak bits and pieces of English and practicing my foreign accents. I’ve gotten really good at my Irish one, but my British, Australian, Southern US, and stereotypical Italian American ones have gotten passable. Just yesterday a taxi driver asked me if I needed a ride and I replied with, “Oi bloke, I don’t speak nun of dat ‘spañol, heard?”
I read somewhere that it’s important to be able to get medical assistance in another country in case of an emergency. I didn’t actually read that, but it sounds like legitimate advice you might get in a travel book. Anyway, to practice, I’ve been walking up to strangers on the street and saying, “Por favor, estoy muy enfermo y necesito ir al hospital inmediatamente,” which loosely translates to, “Please, I’m very sick and need to go to the hospital immediately.” The people usually get really worked up, especially when I run away without saying another word.
Ever seen Demolition with Jake Gyllenhaal? More importantly, have you ever seen this clip?
That’s what I do on my walk to and from classes every day. I live my life in America pretty carelessly when I’m confident I won’t see people ever again, so being in a foreign land makes it way freaking easier. I’ve been filmed a few times, but these people are essentially NPCs to me so I do not care.
One of the cool things about being in a country where the majority of people don’t speak English is that they have no idea what curse words in English are. So I frequently walk around the street saying whatever expletive pops into my head because I know that the people around me have zero way of getting offended because they cannot understand what I’m saying. Even better: the other day I was in a crowded restaurant talking to my friend on the phone about some less than appropriate things to be saying in public, but it didn’t matter at all. I could’ve been talking about how I was going to set off a bomb in the restaurant and no one would’ve known a thing.
Misusing a Spanish Dictionary
Occasionally, I like to get out a Spanish Dictionary I brought along for my trip, walk up to strangers, flip through the pages, and deliver sentences that make absolutely no sense and are usually borderline scary. For instance, I’ve gone with the following:
“Quiero comer tu hijo” – “I want to eat your son”
“Puedo dormir en tu baño?” – “Can I sleep on your bathroom?”
“Tengo dolor en mi coche, te gusta salir” – “I have pain in my car, do you enjoy leaving?”
The more nonsensical the better.
If this blog didn’t make it clear, I’m very ready to be back in the United States.