07 October 2008

Festival Internacional Cervantino

October 8th marks the beginning of the 36th world famous Festival Internacional Cervantino (FIC) in the City of Guanajuato which will run through October 26th. There is much more than normal concern about security this year after the awful terrorist attack on innocent bystanders in the City of Morelia on the night of September 15th as reported by my friend Cristina of “Mexico Cooks!” in her excellent post entitled “Fiestas Patrias Mexicanas”. Yesterday there was a contingent of special federal police who arrived in Guanajuato to augment the 400 police officers from surrounding municipalities who will work in shifts to keep both the populace and the visitors safe from harm. In order to do this effectively they are asking for cooperation from all of the people who attend the event. They are going to strictly enforce rules about not drinking in the streets and try to keep boisterous behavior to a minimum. I think this is a good thing in general for the festival because in the last few years the revelers have become quite boisterous indeed. I thought I might help out by putting together a little Spanish lesson for those international visitors who insist on ignoring the authorities in order that the miscreants might feel less bewildered and more comfortable during their subsequent arrest and confinement. Here are some things that they might want to consider memorizing although I must make a disclaimer. Many of these will invoke little action other than smiles and peals of laughter.

¡Oye oficial! No me apuntes con esa ametralladora por favor.
Hey officer! Please don't point that machine gun at me.

Note: If the policeman carries a rifle instead of a machine gun then use the following:

¡Oye oficial! No me apuntes con ese cuerno de chivo por favor.
Hey officer! Please don't point that AK-47 at me.

Las esposas están demasiado apretadas. ¿Puedes aflójarlas por favor?
The handcuffs are too tight. Can you loosen them please?

¿Oye! No me pegues con esa macana.
Hey! Don't hit me with that nightstick.

¡Socorro! Tengo herida. Estoy sangrando.
Help! I am wounded. I am bleeding.

¡Fúchila! Esa patrulla huele mal.
Phew! This patrol car smells awful.

Esta jaula está muy sucia. Quiero cambiarme a una que esté limpia.
This jail cell is very dirty. I want to move to one that is clean.

Esta jaula es muy abarrotada. Estamos como sardinas en lata.
This jail cell is very crowded. We are packed in like sardines.

¡Guácala! El excusado no sirve.
Yuck! The toilet doesn't work.

¿Hay papel sanitario?
Is there any toilet paper?

¿Hay aspirina?
Is there any aspirin?

Tengo frio. Me presta una cobija?
I'm cold. Can you lend me a blanket?

¿Me prestas una almohada también?
Can you, lend me a pillow also?

¿A qué hora nos dan de comer?
When are they going to feed us?

¿Hay café?
Is there any coffee?

¿Cómo puedo tener liberdad bajo fianza?
How can I make bail?

Creo que necesito un abogado. Puedes recomendar a alguien?
I believe I need a lawyer. Can you recommend someone?

Me permites hacer una llamada por teléfono?
Can you let me make a phone call?

¿Oficial, cuanto tiempo tarda este proceso? Mi avión sale en dos horas.
Officer, how long is this going to take? My plane leaves in two hours.

Oye oficial. ¿No hay una otra manera que podemos resolver esta situación?
Listen officer. Isn't there another way that we can work this out?

¿Aceptas American Express?
Do you take American Express?


YayaOrchid said...

You're right, Bob. Considering that in Mexico detainees have no rights, all those requests WOULD be followed by loud peals of laughter!

Very funny about an inmate asking for basic necessities inside a jail in Mexico. Imagine that...coffee requests, snort!LOL!

You hear such horror stories about jails in Mexico, it's a wonder anyone would risk breaking the law there.

Great post, Bob!

Luis Fernando said...

Yes indeed, we have the worst jails in latinamerica, it has taken a lot of time to achieve that, even worst than the entire African continent.

Just a little better than Guantanamo, hard to compete with that.

Babs said...

Sorry Bob, I'm going to complain! I seldom criticize but with all the amazingly remarkable talent coming for the Festival and the beauty of Guanajuato, your blog would have been better served talking about that rather then playing into the stereotypes that every critic of Mexico wants to read!
Yes, I've been in two prisons in Mexico for visits, and yes they are not good, BUT the ones in the states aren't a piece of cake either........

GlorV1 said...

Any jail is terrible. The festival looks like it was great. I hope you had a great time. Time for me to go, no left turn, no right, no coffee, go straight to jail. :)

Howard said...

Hi Bob:
"Hawkeye" here again.

Is there any asperin?

Should be Aspirin.

You don't need to publish this comment.

Bob Mrotek said...

Thanks Hawkeye, I appreciate your help. I corrected the error. I count on people like you to keep me on the straight and narrow :)

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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.