• Mar

    What’s Julio Iglesias in English?


    Life in Mexico can be pretty funny at times. One morning I went out for breakfast to a small hole in the wall with my buddy Roger. Among other things, I ordered a coffee with cream. No big deal, right?

    A few minutes later the waitress came out with a cup of hot water and a container of Coffeemate. A couple of minutes later she returned with a jar of Nescafe. Roger took one look and quipped: “Some assembly required.”

    Another time I was hanging out with my buddy Alejandro, his wife and daughter. They adopted me one day and informed me that if I hung out with them, my Spanish would be a lot better. They were right, but that’s not the purpose of this story.

    Between the three of them, they knew about five words of English. Alejandro’s favorite joke was: What’s Julio Iglesias in English?

    Literally? July Church. Not very romantic, but that’s life with translations.

    Alejandro and his wife were famous for working late pretty much every day, then closing up at 9:00pm. Quite often they’d go out for dinner after that and sometimes, a fiesta. I went out on one of those and regretted it, mostly because I didn’t get back until 2:00am and I had to get up early for my writing gig the next morning, so I usually declined.

    One night, though, I accepted and we went off for dinner to La Cruz, a small town only five minutes away from Bucerias, where I was staying. We wound up in a restaurant where they ordered dinner. I chose not to and ordered a coffee with milk (that’s one thing about coffee in Mexico, cream is almost impossible to come by. If you order it, you’ll almost always get milk, or sometimes Carnation evaporated milk – yuck).

    In this case, the waitress came out a short time late with a cup of hot milk and a jar of Nescafe. I was surprised, but poured in the Nescafe and stirred it in. It was pretty good and I wound up thinking of it as a poor man’s latte. Good in a pinch, but I wouldn’t want to make a habit of it.

    That’s the way it works down here. Getting good coffee is a hit and miss affair and it takes a bit of patience to find a really good coffee place. Once I do, I tend to stick with it.

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