Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lost in Translation

Last weekend Dave and I went to Albuquerque, New Mexico for his Grandfather's funeral. While it was sad to be mourning his grandpa's passing, it was not unexpected --since his health had been declining for some time. The happy part of funerals is that they are one of the few occasions where everybody comes. All of Dave's siblings were there and all but one of his cousins (who is currently serving a mission).

One of my favorite experiences was in the evening after the funeral. We went out to dinner with Dave's immediate family for New Mexican food. I think the waitress or the cooks forgot about us because we ended up waiting for about 45 minutes before we got our food. Once we finally got it, our patience was rewarded as we were treated to delicious sweet corn cakes, charro beans, fresh guacamole and some of the best fresh corn tortillas I have ever tasted, all finished off with deep-fried sopapillas.

As we sat forever waiting for our food, we kept downing chips with spicy salsa and ever-increasing amounts of water, in somewhat futile attempts to limit the heat build-up in our mouths. After drinking at least 4 glasses of water and waiting for what seemed like forever, I needed a bathroom break. The waiter pointed me in the direction of "Los Banos."
I thanked him and rushed off to take care of my business, thinking, "Wow, there's something I actually remember from high school Spanish." I practically ran into a huge heavy wooden door. I glanced up at the sign above the door, which read "Senoras."

I rushed into the bathroom, barely noticing the shiny red and black tile decor and bold flower arrangements. After I finished, as I exited the stall to wash my hands, I saw two urinals, each with an air freshener stuck in the bottom. "That's odd," I thought, as I washed my hands, "that they would turn a men's bathroom into a women's bathroom and just stick an air freshener in the old urinals instead of taking them out." As I washed my hands, a man opened the door to the bathroom and started to walk in, only to apologize profusely and make an embarrassed exit. It was only then that I realized that maybe-- just maybe-- I wasn't in the women's bathroom after all and it was my turn for an embarrassed apology. 

Sure enough, when I walked into the hall, the sign across the way said, "Senoritas,"
and the sign up above the door from which I was exiting said not "Senoras," but "Senores."

Oops. I guess the only plural form of Senor I covered in high school Spanish was Senors. Or maybe I don't remember that much from high school Spanish after all. 
Anyone could mistake this for "Senoras," right?


LCM said...

So technically you weren't supposed to go in either bathroom, right? :)

Greek Goddess said...

That is hilarious. I'm glad it turned out okay though.

K kid said...

LCM: I hadn't thought about it that way, but you're right. Technically I was banned from both.....