Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In the hunt for the accent, the looks!

I know many of you would not relate to this and nenas I know definitely you guys would not when you grow up. When you are from another country and live in a big city in the USA you just never miss talking Spanish or interacting with people from your own country because they are just every where, usually they are little communities like Jackson Heights NY for Colombians, Kendall, FL for Colombians, Astoria, NY for Arabs and the list can go on and on. When we first started to move to the south to smaller cities I stop spotting Colombians or baba Egyptians. They are just not around and when we do find one is like finding a diamond.

On Saturday baba calls when he is halfway to Houma, LA, if you have never being in that road is the country full of sugar cane fields. He decided to stop in a gas station while he is making the line to pay there are some Spanish people in front of him he notices the clerk is talking to them in Spanish (keep on mind baba can not tell when someone that speaks Spanish has an accent) but in his mind he is like that guy is not Spanish he looks Arab. Then is baba's turn to pay and the clerk says "Salam Malekiuum" is just amazing how we can spot people from our own country just by the features. Turns out the man is from Yemen and owns the gas station. I know it was just nice to find someone who you can speak to in your own language.

The other day while I was at the park the same thing happen to me. While I was there talking to some of mami's from the group I spotted an older gentlemen playing with it a little girl from the moment I saw him I knew he was from Colombia. I could not help myself and I had to ask him. Surely enough he is actually from the same area I am from.

Not sure but I think here in the USA is the same I am not sure if I can tell where someone is from because of the way they look, but I will definitely be able to tell you is someone is from New York versus someone from South Carolina. I will assume someone from the Midwest could also distinguish someone from the south and so forth.

Another thing I have always like is how one word in Spanish in Argentina means something else in Puerto Rico. Not sure if the same applies from state to state here. The best part of these is that we only learn this things when we come to the USA, is the only place where you can meet people from the whole world, I don't think there are allot of chances of me meeting an Egyptian in Colombia. Now that I am talking about this, the first time I went to Egypt in 2001 we were driving through Sinai going to place call Dahab when all of sudden in the middle of the dessert road I see a post from the United Nations and I see a Colombia flag up. I made the driver stop to find out what was the deal I was so excited of seeing a Colombia soldier in the middle of the dessert.

Is funny also when I have travel to Egypt people don't see me like a Hispanic or Latina they see me as an American.


Anonymous said...

When I lived in Iowa I felt the same way, then I found this Mexican restaurant, y todos hablaban espanol. Que Padre, que chida! Me encantaba comer ahi!:)y la comida era autentica, algo que es muy dificil de encontrar.

Umm Omar said...

I can't really relate to this directly, but I know it's exciting to find someone who grew up where I grew up in the US, or something like that. And just today, I met a woman and it turns out we have a mutual friend in common (she lives in another state)-we were so excited to learn that! We humans love what's familiar to us.