Friday, July 30, 2010

No, Gracias

As with anywhere you travel, there have been some things I have not enjoyed on this trip. It seems the most repeated phrase here, for me, has be "No, Gracias." Men, women and children earn their living by selling things. They approach you in the streets, on the beaches, in every restaurant. Many of the things they sell are useful or beautiful and I have bought plenty to bring home to show off to everyone. most of the time when we are approached, however, I am not interested. A simple "no, gracias" with a smile usually gets me a smile in return and the vender moves on. Occasionally, though, a more persistent sales person approaches. I have learned some answers to get them to move on such as "No boat ride. Me enferma" (this said holding my stomach and miming puking over the rail of a boat. Or when the offer is "Hamacas, senorita? I can honestly say, "No mas! yo tengo tres hammacas, gracias." On a few occasions, however, you just can't shake them off. Poor tina was followed down a beach for a half mile with some guy begging to take her on a lagoon tour. She finally tried to tell him that her friend Javier had already taken her to the lagoon. What she actually said, in her imperfect spanish was "No! My friend Javier touches me in the lagoon!" the man looked confused but did wander off at that point. A couple days ago we were lunching at Danny's Terrace, yet another beach side restaurant. A little girl selling braclets and necklaces approached us and insisted on putting some on us no matter how much we protested. Our friendly, smiling "no gracias" wasn't workiing. I looked at her finally and said in my teacher's voice. "No. No Gracias. Go!" I picked up her basket from out table and tried to hand it to her but she just kept mumbling her list of things that we could buy and looking sad. She wouldn't let me move the basket off the table! Now we were feeling pretty silly on this day. We had just come back from that nauseating dive trip and were giddy with relief to be back on dry land. Finally. I looked at the girl (who spoke no english) and said "No! Now take your sad eyes somewhere else." Tina and Angela were shocked but still burst out laughing. After the girl left I discovered they had misunderstood me to say "Take your sad ASS somewhere else!" We all found this hysterical in a non politically correct kind of way. That has become our tagline around here. We use it on stray dogs and on each other... and find it hysterical everytime. It's especially fitting when one of us is complaining about another bout of diahrea.... "take your sad ass somewhere else!" ahhhh. laughter is the best medicine indeed.

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