There’s an old Spanish saying that goes “Sometimes you have a Romanian man named Luigi who secretly lives in your basement.” Okay, not really, but there should be because that’s what happened to me today. Luigi is the assistant to the catering business the family has. What I failed to realize is that he lives in the basement (It’s a really big house, okay?). What with two Americans, two Spaniards, one Romanian an Egyptian living here, not to mention the minimum of 5 different people the visit every day, I kind of feel like I’m living in a hostel. Or, as the hairdresser (who is a close friend of the mother’s) put it a “casa de putas.”
Until you have to explain yourself in another language, you don’t really realize how silly your conversations are. For example, Renee and I were discussing the differences between Mrs. Butterworth and Aunt Jemima syrup and, if we had the option between spending time with Mrs. B. or Aunt J. who we would choose. Explaining this in broken Spanish to a 9 year old was a really grounding experience. I don’t think I will ever have an existential conversation about Pancake toppings without being 100% sure I can explain myself in my native language.
Yaya and I took a 30 minute walk today. It was actually only from the pool to the dining room but it took 30 minutes because she would stop to tell me a story, (she can’t (won’t) walk and talk at the same time) walk another couple steps, start speaking in French, we would clarify that I was American, and then she would start telling me the same story over again.
T-2 days until I’m responsible for the lives of 11 children who don’t speak my language.