Let's be clear. I do not speak another language.
But, for as long as I can remember, people have asked me, "what are you?" Ummm...like American? A mixture of ethnicities like so many others in the U.S. Truly I am German and English, but when I tell people this news, they are always incredulous. No! You don't look German or English. Italian-yes! Israeli-yes! Cuban (when I'm rocking a good tan)-yes! You name, I've been "it." I joke with Brian regularly that I should have been the female Jason Bourne.
So this brings us to the utter disappointing factor about me. I am not the female Jason Bourne and the people of South America and Spain and now Morocco are disappointed in me.
I don't understand what people are saying when they walk straight up to me and ask for directions or when they totally ignore Brian's much better Spanish request for information and provide the answer directly to me, nodding vigorously and speaking a mile per minute, or when I ask something in what I supposed to be very broken Spanish and their eyes light up and they begin a full conversation with me.
We've been stopped countless times on streets for people to ask me a question and the looks on people's faces when Brian answers the questions for them is one of pure shock. Or when ordering at a restaurant and I begin to attempt an order and totally muck it up, the waiter asks me a follow up question in Spanish, but asks Brian what he wants in English, as though my fumble was just me being a bit spastic.
In Buenos Aires, three separate times I disappointed people asking for confirmation of a street and when I replied with a firm "No entiendo," they replied with "No es Porteno?" Nope, not a local.
In Madrid, we were buying metro tickets at the airport and a man behind us kept asking how he could get to a certain point in the city, "Lo siento, soy tourista." NO!
I actually feel really bad when this happens because I took Spanish, but never retained much. It's not easy disappointing several nations with my lack of lingual skills. Maybe when we get back I can focus on Spanish or French or Italian, because if I'm going to please one, I have to please them all!