Tuesday, November 22, 2011
How many years do you have?
Around 1:30 I took a friend to the beach where I have pretty good luck finding potato chip shells. The tide was heading out and there were mounds and mounds of shells everywhere. There are no tide pools here but when the tide is low various sandbars are exposed and walking on those gives the appearance and feel of walking on water.
In the distance we saw kids sliding down a sand dune and as they ran past us a little boy shouted out "good morning!" My friend said "good afternoon. It's afternoon." The boy skidded to a stop and came over to where we were standing. The girls - about six of them - followed. The boy was eager to show off his English and, of course, we encouraged him with compliments and minor corrections on words and pronunciation.
One little girl was still in costume from the parade. Parade is desfile in Spanish, my word of the day.
These are the things Mexicans ask you when you first meet.
What is your name?
Are you married?
How many kids do you have?
How old are you? which translated from the Spanish is how many years do you have?
Apparently it is not rude to ask strangers - older strangers - how many years they have so the little boy asked me cuantos anos tiennes? I said "Yo tengo muchos anos." That did not satisfy him - he wanted an exact number - so as the girls gathered around I gave them the number. Hands slapped foreheads. Eyes rolled. Gasps escaped little mouths. That is a lot of years!!!!
Then one by one we were told their names and ages; names like Cassandra, Veronica, Julio, the years ranging from 2 to 11.
Two moms finally caught up with the kids and after a little more chit-chat the group took off down the beach. The kids shouted bye while we called out adios.
Shell-gathering was a success. My friend and I each found a perfect sand dollar. Our plastic bags were full of potato chip shells. We had walked for three hours. My knees and hips were not happy. My friend's back was complaining.
At the trailer I changed clothes then headed off to New Kino to be with friends. It was a perfect ending to what had started out as a really crappy day.
At this point do I throw in a quote from Jimmy Buffet or the Law of Attraction? Both have something to do with changes in attitude - and listening to our inner pelican.