Day 39: No hablo español.
Note: The Rules & Guidelines for the Yes Quest can be found here.
Well, shit. Somehow, in my grand plan of flitting to Chile in order to stick with an accidental yes, it never occurred to me that saying yes once I arrived was going to be far more difficult because my fluency in Spanish is about on par with my dog's understanding of the English language.
Hungry? Tengo Hambre!
Thirsty? Cerveza, por favor.
Want to go outside? Dónde está el baño?
Stop humping my leg. No hablo español y también tengo un novio.
And that's about it. After spending the past three months in English speaking countries, I quickly forgot how idiotic I feel when I'm surrounded by languages I can't understand. I feel like I'm somehow disrespecting the country that I'm in, especially if it's a Spanish speaking country. Growing up, I had every opportunity to learn Spanish, but I was lazy and didn't try very hard. I zoned out in high school Spanish, and only paid attention when we were talking about food or on the day when everyone was asked to bring a tortilla española into class, which inevitably meant that we suddenly had 25 room temperature potato and egg pies that were all severely lacking in salt...except for mine, of course.
Even when I ended up at the best language school in the country, Middlebury College, I was part of the 1% of Elite Idiots who decided not to learn a language because why would I learn a totally useful skill from the best in the world, when I could instead dabble in a semester of Oceanography and Abnormal Psychology? Those were the classes that didn't meet early on Thursday, which was important because every Wednesday night I had a very important beer pong game to attend to, and I certainly didn't want school to interfere, lest I go on a winning streak that lasted until 3am.
Eighteen year old priorities do not set up 30 year old success, which is probably why college should be saved for 30 year olds. Eighteen year olds should instead be send into a year's worth of mandatory work in face to face customer service, like waiting tables or retail or end of life companions, so they learn not to be assholes. Imagine a world in which every asshole you know had to work at the DMV or at an airport Applebee's for a year before living a college life of meal plans and safe spaces; it's like an instant fix for inbred douchebaggery.
That's inbred gilipollas, in Spanish.
Luckily I'm with an American friend, so there is a little potential for a South American influenced Yes Quest. He taught me how to longboard yesterday, so I've increased my hipster percentage by at least 5%. My episode of Chopped also aired again yesterday, as evidenced by the influx of Facebook friend requests from fifty year old men with Duck Dynasty beards. At least I know my core demographic.
I did get one lovely message, though, from a 53 year old Air Force veteran who recently got a culinary degree and wants to open is own restaurant. He asked me how I got to this place in my career (which I find hilarious, since I'm still trying to figure out what sort of career I want) and if I had any advice on opening up a restaurant. In my own response, I stumbled up on one of the main reasons why I'm choosing to pivot away from the food & wine industry:
But most importantly, only open a restaurant/go that route if you truly feel like you want to take care of people as much as you want to cook for them. If you just love to cook, it's not enough, because it's 30% cooking at 70% everything else. I got those things confused for a long time, and it ruined my love for cooking for a while.
It only took one business, 8 years of working in NYC, and a trip around the world to realize where I went wrong so many years ago.
A lo hecho, pecho. What's done is done.