So, I might have told part of this story before, so bear with me.
My older son, Zach, and his wife Lauren befriended a young couple from Cuba. The wife doesn’t speak much English.
I remembered 30 years ago, when Zach was in Kindergarten, his teacher asked me to invite one of his classmate’s mother over for coffee. They were from Japan and she was lonely. She spoke almost no English, but we were able to communicate by using a Japanese to English dictionary. It was slow, but it worked. She came over a number of times and always brought a small gift when she visited.
On one visit, she gave me a paper doll, with a little slip of paper attached. I looked up the words to ask her what it said on the paper.
She went back and forth in the dictionary, looked up and said “Made in Tokyo.”
It made me laugh really hard.
I thought it might be nice for my daughter in law to have a similar experience, so I went on Amazon and ordered what I thought was a Cuban to English dictionary.
My son called after they received the book.
My son doesn’t laugh super easy, so I knew something was up when I answered the phone.
Zach: Mom, the book you sent isn’t what you thought it was.
Me: It’s not a Cuban to English dictionary?
Zach: What did it say on Amazon?
Me: Well, I can’t hardly see and I didn’t have any readers when I ordered it. I thought it was a dictionary.
Zach: It’s not exactly that. It’s a phrase book. It’s just filled with phrases in Cuban Spanish and then in English.
Me: Oh. Well, that’s not helpful.
Zach: No..no, but it is funny.
Zach: These phrases are fucked up.
Then he read some of the phrases to me. Here’s one that stood out for me:
“There was a huge scandal at the bank when they saw the video of the employees fucking in the closet.”
So, not even “Where’s the bathroom?” or “I’d like to buy some shoes.” No. Because when one is traveling and doesn’t speak the language, I think it’s important to be able to follow along if one finds oneself in a conversation about bank employees fucking in a closet.
He’s called me a number of times since. He said that he and his wife refer to it often.
He called the other day to let me know that they both know how to say “Javi has a big dick” in Spanish now.
They shared the book with their new friends, who were also terribly amused, and let Zach know that I chose poorly.
I mean, I am glad they are having fun with it.