Friday, March 18, 2011

One apron, four hours, fifteen houseguests

Last night was a night full of mystery. I now can pretty much fake my way thought most things here, but I found myself at a loss several times yesterday. For instance:

1) I wasn't told that it was her birthday on Thursday until Monday. When I asked what we were doing, she goes "Ohh, nothing."Me: "But didn't someone mention something about family coming over?" HM: "Oh, well, a couple of people." That nothing with a couple people turned out to be a party of about 15 people, cake, and finger food.

2) My host mom asked me on Wednesday: "Is Francesca coming to the dinner?" (my Peruvian friend) Me: "Ummm....I didn't ask her. Oh dear, did you tell me to ask her?" HM: " I thought about telling you to ask her."

3) I told her that Francesca and I might get there a little earlier than planned, and she said "Better that way." But when we arrived no one was around. And she was napping.

4) My host mom told us everyone was coming at 6:30. We thought she would call us down from my room. She didn't. We debated going down at 7:3o. Francesca: "I don't know, it's your house!" Me: "I don't know, it's your country!" F: "Nope. I'm Italian."

5) I got her a gift, (an apron for cooking (below from CasaIdeas)...I feminist sensibilities, which are existent but not exactly fine-tuned, were screaming but I had no other ideas, and I really thought she'd like it. And she did. So don't judge!) but no one else brought anything, as far as I saw. Do you pass gift receiving age in Peru or something? What a shame!
6) At 11 o'clock I was dead tired. I still thought it would be rude to go to bed. But then they told me I looked sleepy, and I could go rest if I wanted to. I got a pang of guilt for leaving all the dishes and what not, and asked if I should help first. My host mom said no, it's fine, we'll do it tomorrow. I asked several times if she was sure, and may have sensed some hesitation the final time, but I went. It's tomorrow now, and not a dirty dish to be found.

Well, who doesn't need a good awkward night every now and again?

Happy Friday!

P.S. Francesca has provided me with updates on sickness euphemisms. Read if you care:

They didn't ask me "Estas ocupada?" for diarrhea but rather "Te estas ocupando?" (forgive the English punctuation, but this text is not bilingual) Which I guess is like saying, "Are you busying yourself?" Although that apparently is something you'd more use with little kids. (Which really is quite interesting linguistically, I think, when you consider how we think about speaking with language learners.)

A phrase I think I remember hearing, "Te has aflojado el estomago?" literally something like "Have you loosened your stomach?" is another way to say it.

"Diarrea" as a word is not so much gross apparently as just very medical and technical. I pointed out that it is not so in English.

Hmm...I think she told me something else for "vomitar" also, but it once again escapes me.


  1. That apron is adorable. And if they do stop giving gifts, then jeez, remind me never to move there!! Haha.

  2. Awkward is really awkward when you don't know the rules - even the word looks awkward. I don't think it matters, they love you!

  3. That was nice of you to get her something although nobody else did. I'd hate not to get presents!

  4. How awkward!
    So are you on exchange at Peru? I'm new to your blog so I'm trying to catch up!