18 October 2008

Dialog - Returning Home

In our last dialog, “The Hotel” we left our intrepid travelers checking into a cheap hotel in the city of Monterrey because one of them had failed to make reservations in advance for a good place to stay. They spent the night at the questionable hotel after going out on the town with one of their old friends whose name is Federico. Now let's listen in as they prepare to do what they had come to Monterrey to do on behalf of their employer and then head for home:

Buenos días amigo. ¿Cómo amaneciste?
Good morning my friend. How do you feel?

Buenos días. No me siento bien.
Good morning. I don't feel good.

¿Por qué? ¿Andas crudo?
Why? Are you hungover?

Un poco, además no dormí bien.
A little, and besides that I didn't sleep well.

Yo tampoco. Hubo tanto ruido, con gente gritando y puertas abriendo y cerrando que casi no pude dormir. No quiero regresar a este hotel nunca.
Me neither. There was so much noise, with people shouting and doors opening and closing that I almost couldn't sleep. I don't want to come back to this hotel ever again.

¡Tienes mucha razón! Yo se que tengo la culpa de no hacer reservaciones y te juro que no lo voy a repetir. Aprendí mi lección.
You got that right! I know that it is my fault for not making reservations and I swear that it won't happen again. I learned my lesson.

No te preocupes amigo, es agua pasada. Vamos a borrar y cuenta nueva. ¿Estás de acuerdo?
Don't worry about it pal. It's water under the bridge. Let's wipe the slate clean and start over. Agreed?

Sí, estoy de acuerdo. Pero ahora nececito dos aspirinas y un café. Siempre es divertido convivir con nuestro amigo Federico pero cuando estamos con él siempre tomamos demasiado. El problema es que Federico canta y toca la guitarra tan bien, que todo el mundo siempre nos invita unos tragos.
Yes, I agree. But now I need two aspirins and a coffee. It is always nice to get together with our friend Federico but when we are with him we always drink too much. The problem is that Federico sings and plays the guitar so well that everybody always invites us to have drinks.

Sí, pero ¿sabes que? Ya está haciendo tarde y no hay tiempo para café. Vamos directamente a la planta para no llegar tarde para la cita. Probablemente ellos van a ofrecernos café y donas.
Yeah, but you know what? It's already getting late and there is no time for coffee. We're going right to the plant so we won't be late for the appointment. They will probably offer us coffee and donuts.

(Los dos hombres fueron a la planta de su cliente e hicieron una presentación de sus productos en la sala de juntas. Pasaron dos horas y ellos salieron de la planta con misión cumplida rumbo a casa.)
(The two men went to their customer's plant and made a presentation of their products in the conference room. After two hours they left the plant with mission accomplished and headed home.)

¿Qué piensas de la presentación? ¿Fue buena o mala?
What did you think of the presentation? Was it good or bad?

Fue muy buena, hasta el pez gordo me felicitó. Creo que ellos van a comprar mucho producto y nuestro jefe va a estar muy contento. Nosotros también por la buena comisión que vamos a ganar.
It was very good, even the big boss congratulated me. I think that they are going to buy a lot of products and our chief will be very pleased. We will too for the nice comission that we are going to earn.

¡Qué bueno! Me da gusto. !Ya vamos a comprar un pato al orange y depués a casa!
That's great! That makes me feel good. Now let's grab some snacks to eat and head for home.

(Pasaron unas horas en la carretera y casi para llegar se encontraron un tren de carga.)
(Several hours passed on the highway and just as they were almost home they encountered a freight train.)

Oh, mira un tren.
Oh, look there's a train.

¡Híjole! A ver si llegamos primero al crucero para ganarle al tren.
Oh, no! Let's see if we can get to the crossing first and beat the train.

¡No! Es muy peligroso. Mejor esperamos hasta que pase el tren.
No! It's very dangerous. It's best to wait until the train passes.

Pero el tren tiene tres locomotoras. Probablemente está muy largo y va a tardar mucho en pasar.
But the train has three locomotives. It is probably very long and it will take a long time to pass by.

Ni modo, más vale prevenir que lamentar.
That doesn't matter, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Pues...está bien. Tienes razón, pero va a ser muy aburrido esperar.
Well...okay. You are right, but waiting is going to be very boring.

Bueno, entonces nos vamos a entretener contando cuantos furgones, cuantos tanques, y cuantas tolvas lleva el tren.
Well, then let's entertain ourselves by counting how many boxcars, how many tank cars, and how many hopper cars there are.

¡No manches! El tren está parando. Ahora vamos a tardar más.
Don't tell me! The train is stopping. Now we are going to be even later.

No te preocupes amigo. El tren no se va a quedar parado siempre. Tarde o temprano tiene que avanzar.
Don't worry my friend. The train isn't going to be stopped forever. Sooner or later it will move on.

Está bien. Después de todo es mejor perder un poco más de tiempo que perder la vida.
It's okay. In the end it is better to lose a little time than to lose a life.

Note: Some additional comments:

¿Cómo amaneciste? - Literally "How did you dawn your day?". In English we say "How are you feeling this morning?". Sometimes when people say "¿Cómo amaneciste?" the other person will say something playful like "Acostado y en ayunas" which means "I awoke lying down and fasting".

¿Por qué, andas crudo? - The phrase "¿Andas crudo?" means more or less "Are you wandering around with a hang over?". You could also say "¿Estás crudo?" which means about the same..."Are you hung over?".

No te preocupes amigo, es agua pasada. - The phrase "agua pasada" means water that has already gone by like water under a bridge. There is another use of "agua pasada" that goes "Agua pasada no mueve molino"... "Water gone past won't move the mill" which means the equivalent of the English "There is no crying over spilled milk".

borrar y cuenta nueva. - Literally to erase and start counting again. This is a very common phrase and a good way to end an argument.

que todo el mundo siempre nos invita unos tragos. - The word "trago" means a "swallow" or a "gulp". Be careful and never invite your friends for "un ultimo trago" or "one last drink" because in superstitious Mexico the "ultimo trago" is the last one you take before you die.

Probablemente ellos van a ofrecernos café y donas. - The word "donas" is not a misspelling. That is how the word "donuts" was transliterated from English to Spanish. You will often see the "donas" form of the word in Mexican bakeries.

Los dos hombres fueron a la planta de su cliente e hicieron una presentación - The letter "e" in front of the word "hicieron" (EE-see-eh-rohn) or "they made" means "and". The letter "y" is usually used for the word "and" but in this case the "y" (pronounced EE) would precede "hicieron" and since the letter "h" in "hicieron" is silent there would be two letters pronounced "ee" close together so in this case we use the letter "e" instead.

Fue muy buena, hasta el pez gordo me felicitó. The phrase "pez gordo" meaning "big fish" is often used to describe a big boss, bigshot, or VIP. Somehow people have the idea that important people are fat. I don't know why. I am fat but they don't think I'm very important. Hey, that isn't fair!

!Ya vamos a comprar un pato al orange y depués a casa! The phrase "pato al orange" is Mexican schoolboy slang for a "Gansito" snack cake and an orange soda. It means that they will probably stop at a "Oxxo" convenience store and buy some junk food to eat on the road. You can read about "Gansito" in my post entitled "El Gansito".

más vale prevenir que lamentar - Very common saying. It literally means "It is worth more to prevent than to lament".

¡No manches! - The verb "manchar" means to make dirty, to stain, smear, or defile. In English someone might say "You gotta be shittin me". There is a similar phrase to "No manches" which is "No mames". It is quite common (unfortunately) to hear someone say to another "No me mames güey". The word "mames" comes from the verb "mamar" which means "to suckle" or to breast feed". The phrase "No me mames güey" is more or less the equivalent of the English "Hey man, don't be feeding me that line of crap".


GlorV1 said...

I was afraid that after accomplishing their mission on their presentation, they would try to beat the train and caput! But the story ended great as always. That was fun, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Great story! I love your blog, as always. One small note, maybe it is different in other parts of Mexico, but up north, we only say "no mames", leaving out the "me"... is it different where you live? I have always found people from all over say it this way...

Bob Mrotek said...

I am happy that I could keep you on the edge of your seat :)

Señor Anonymous. Why must you be so anonymous? Send me an e-mail so that I can discuss things with you at length. I work with a man who says "No me mames güey" at least once a day. He was born and raised here in Irapuato. I just copy what I hear. I will take note of what you told me and check it out. Thanks for the positive feedback.

Anonymous said...

Bob, you have created a new word that gave me a chuckle...you have merged the verbs 'amanecer' y 'amenazar' to create a threatening dawn....Kathe

Bob Mrotek said...

It wasn't my intention to create a new word, I simply made a spelling error. Thanks for pointing it out. I have corrected it. I am glad that I could make you chuckle :)

Croft said...

Bob, I wonder if you could help us out. We travel Mexico in winters in a motorhome and sometimes between locations we park overnight in Soriana or WalMart parking lots.

We always ask permission but have often had communication problems with Security or Store Management. At one time they were convinced we wanted to actually sleep in the store and kept directing us to a hotel. I have been unable to find a translation for "motorhome" that is understood.

Could you give me a simple sentence that would ask if we could park our motorhome in their parking lot overnight. Thanks


Bob Mrotek said...

Around here an RV is called "una casa rodante" which means "a rolling home". I don't have any experience at all with an RV in Mexico so I asked my friend Kathe who does and she gave me the following suggestions:

Nos gustaría pasar la noche aquí en su parqueo/estacionamiento. En nuestra casa rodante tenemos todos los servicios y solo necesitamos un lugar seguro para estacionar. ¿Nos da permiso?


¿Nos da permiso para estacionar aquí esta noche?

I, myself, would probably say something like:

¿Me da permiso de estacionar esta casa rodante durante la noche?

One more thing...I wouldn't be comfortable parking overnight in any parking lot in Mexico without checking with the local police and getting their consent and advice no matter WHAT Walmart says. Parking could be great in some places and could be a bad idea in others. Please be careful.

Croft said...

Thanks Bob and Kathe! We are very careful and only pick lots that have lighting and overnight security and we always talk to the guard, ask him to watch out for us and give him a tip. This has always worked out well for us and we have felt very secure. In one case Security asked us to move closer to his office so he could see us better. We would not hesitate to move on at the first sign of trouble. Thanks again.

Bob Mrotek said...


Kathe wrote to me:

"Please tell Croft Randle that when he gets here he can camp for free too..."

Her place called "Maricasa" is in Quintana Roo. Check it out: http://www.maricasa.com/

Croft said...

Thank you Kathe! I have looked forward to meeting you and visiting Maricasa for several years. We will be in touch.


Frankly Ronda said...

I really enjoy the tales of the two friends - keep it up.

You should write a book. Your blog is amazing. Unique. You have a real talent.

Bob Mrotek said...

American Mommy,

Thanks for the compliment. The problem is that I have several books in my head that are fighting to get out and I am waiting for the dust to settle to see who wins :)

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About Me

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.