Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Si Se Puede

I learned to speak Spanish on my mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I love languages - so I was excited about the possibility of learning in a native environment. I actually chose to study the language while I was there, going so far as to pick up middle-school level grammar books. I've never denied that I'm a nerd.
Anyway, it turns out spanish is a particularly useful language to know round these parts. There are plenty of latinos around to practice my spanish with. However, while living in Utah a lot of latinos have learned that switching to spanish doesn't necessarily allow you to talk about somebody without them understanding. There are just too many RM's who've learned spanish. I've learned that this isn't the case outside of Utah.
Several years ago I was in Oregon fishing for steelhead. When we showed up at the stream, we were the only ones there. After trying out a couple of areas, I settled on a particular spot based on how the water was flowing, etc. Minutes later, droves up people started showing up all at once. It felt like a quitting time scene you see in a movie where people come pouring out of a factory as a whistle blows. Except they were showing up at the river.
Anyway, it seems that I had stumbled on to the sweet spot as suddently I was at the front of a line of twenty people queued up nearly shoulder to shoulder and apparently casting at the same spot. Strange. Stranger still were the two standing right next to me.
"Fijate en el tipo este (Check out this guy)," the guy next to me said while looking right at me. I turned and looked at him in surprise. There was no way he just said that.
"Si, no tiene ni idea (Yeah, he's clueless)," his friend responded while joining his buddy in looking at me.
"Si le molestamos, tal vez el salga (if we bug him, maybe he'll leave," the first continued. Casting close, tangling me up, drifting their gear into me - these guys were on a mission to get me to leave. And they discussed it all very openly (in spanish) while looking me in the face the whole time. Finally, the first guy hooked up. As the fish flashed close, it was clear that it wasn't a trophy fish.
"Es chiquito (it's a little one)" the first guy said to his friend. I saw my chance. It was the beginning of the year and with Oregon fishermen limited to 20 salmonid total per year, it was a good assumption that he'd be letting it go.
I had already reeled in as soon as he'd hooked up (just good ettiquette). As he reeled the fish in, I pulled out my leatherman as quick as I could. "Queres que lo suelte (Do you want me to let him go)?" I asked.
"What," he stammered, his eyes bulging and mouth agape with confusion. The other guy couldn't even look at me. I repeated myself, using my thickest Porteno (Buenos Aires) accent. "No, he's little but he's nice. I'm going to keep it." He finished. The two gentlemen then quickly made their way the shore, bonked the fish, and left while it was still twitching.


Mr. Flynn said...

I like that story.

Your training regimine is quite impressive by the way. you're killin' it.

Pat said...

Quality. I loved doing that in street clothes when I went back to Samoa.