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Patria, here's an accent for you.....
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Cindi    Posted 12-29-2003 at 08:04:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
I finally figured out why Victor keeps popping up around here.

Victor is one of my best customers. He buys everything from pigs to goats, to roosters, and has been by here every day for the last three days even knowing that I have sold him all the roosters I am willing to sell, and the pigs I have left are small and not the size he typically buys. I figured he was stopping by just to chat. Oh Lord.

We have a system, Victor and I. He speaks to me in a form of English that has a very strong Spanish accent attached to it, and I get about every tenth word. We interrupt each other a lot, because if either one of us gets to ramblin', the other is lost. Whichever non- English speaking buddy he happens to bring along, stands there looking impressed at our ability to communicate, clueless to the fact that we are both basically floundering helplessly.

Anyway, due to the gaping holes in our typical conversations, it took me three days to figure out that he was offering to pick our grove for us. As soon as I figured it out, I was on it like a duck on a Junebug.

"I thought you were picking the Villa Grove." I said, my hands on my hips.

Dam! Why did I ask that? I have been looking for weeks for someone to pick this grove, and here he is wanting to do it. Why would I question it?

"Weel, issa naw red rite naw, issa no freesh. I gotty ting daze naw trabajo, naw weirk." He said, looking very relieved that at last he had gotten his point across.

(The grove is not ready yet, the fruit is not fresh (ripe). I have ten days with no work).

"Oh, well, can you get me fifty cents a box? That's all I want is fifty cents a box." I almost choked on that offer, as last year I made four fifty a box, but this year the prices have gone to heck and he's lucky if he can sell them for a dollar and a quarter a box, leaving him with seventy five cents. "I have grove ladders and anything else you might need."

"I gotty lattice, I no needa lattice, ing I gotty trook and tu' ming a helpless me."

(I got ladders, I don't need ladders and I got a truck and two men to help me).

"What about the price Victor, can you do it for that? I'll let the fruit rot before I'll take less than that."

He pursed his lips, characteristic of, 'I have no freakin' idea what you just said'. I knew that look, but I waited out of curiosity.

There was a long pause and then a curious look...

"Issa naw goot frut? You gotty root rut?"

"No, no, the fruit is good, no root rot..." I chuckled,and then held my hand up and rubbed the tips of my fingers against my thumb, the international symbol for money.

"Fifty cents a box, yes?"

"Oh, si'!" Big ole grin. "Si' issa goot. Si' fitty sings a box."

Ahh. We had an agreement. This morning he showed up at seven thirty with his 'trook and his tu' ming and his lattice,' ready to go to work. I may not make much, only fitty sings a box, but at least the frut will be off the trees and not 'rutting' in the grove. (grin)

Dave Smith    Posted 12-29-2003 at 16:24:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Cindi, Have you ever submitted any of you're storys to Grit? You're storys seem to be the kind of things they print. Very interesting.
Dave <*)))><

Cindi    Posted 12-30-2003 at 06:22:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think I might have a while back, but maybe it's time to try again.

Jimbob    Posted 12-29-2003 at 09:42:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hum....Cindi, your a clean 'uptown' city girl gone country. You have an orange grove in FL. Sounds like the movie Cross Creek to me.

Thanks Cindi    Posted 12-29-2003 at 09:07:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
But, no thanks!
Just kidding,eh?:-)

Luckily, for my 'interlocutor' [wow, this one's big,isn't it?], I'm way over your, above mentioned, system; cenile age might bring it back, though..

In our school system english is a standard credit from pre-school to college, although it doesn't mean that everybody is actually learning proper, written and conversational, english; but neither spanish for that matter. So what's new under the sun.

Hope your grove picking is successful, Cindi.
Thanks for another one of your funny anecdotes.

RichZ    Posted 12-29-2003 at 09:12:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hey, Patria!! I always thought that English was taught in school in Puerto Rico. It is part of the USA of course. But I have a friend who lived in Puerto Rico until she was 17, and graduated from high school and came to New York to live with relatives. When she came here, she didn't speak a word of English, and within one year she was fluent. She doesn't even have a trace of an accent now, and she's 35. But I was shocked when she told me that she never learned English in school. So I guess it's taught to everyone now, right?

Ron,Ar    Posted 12-29-2003 at 10:45:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just a quick question and I'll have to ask it again next week when I get back. Is there ever any talk of Independence for Puerto Rico? Or for that matter Statehood? Exactly what is the official terminology or status. I guess a lot of us had the idea it was either a "territory" sorta or maybe an Independent Nation. The question just popped up there. See the answer next week. Have a good New Years. Ron

Patria    Posted 12-29-2003 at 10:15:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You're right, in PR english has been taught since the turn of the 1900s. In 1902, four years after Puerto Rico became a U.S. dependency in the Spanish American War, the United States declared the island officially bilingual. Public business would be conducted in both Spanish and English. Schools were also teaching english,
unofficially at first, sort of underground schools were here and there to teach english only.

But the most relevant element for the low numbers in the Puerto Rican english speaking population, according to some estimates, would be the political philosophy of each and everyone. Indifference then, among parents and teachers 'were' the tool to build a road-block to a better understanding of the english language. Not anymore, note that I said 'were'.

Nowadays one should divide PR in two ages, before and after cable and satelite tv. hehe, kids are talking sooooo much english that parents are the first ones to be surprised when suddenly the kid has to translate something for them..

Les    Posted 12-29-2003 at 11:45:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
When I was in boot camp back in '70 there was one Puerto Rican in my platoon. He claimed not to be able to speak English. When the DIs hollered real loud with their faces right up next to his, he seemed to understand better.

Patria    Posted 12-29-2003 at 12:48:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I believe you're right; back then we might have been drafted without, politely :-), asking first whether you could communicate in english or not. I guess it wasn't as imperative as learning how to aim and shoot.
These days Puerto Ricans who enlist can speak and write a fairly good english, however, some might be sent to take english courses, if needed, after they finish basic trainning.

In the 50s, my dad was dragged out of a cozy little neighborhood bar by two MPs; told him that the u.s.s. kidd [dd 661]'s cook had resigned and that they needed him badly. He had no problem with english,though.

Les    Posted 12-29-2003 at 14:24:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
Now that I think about it, I seem to remember that all of us understood a little better when they got into our face like that, Puerto Rican or not!

Patria    Posted 12-29-2003 at 16:10:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Army roll call

It was early morning at an Army camp and the first sergeant was calling out names for the daily work parties listed on a piece of paper:





" -- "

" -- "

" -- "

At that point, someone whispered into the first sergeant's ear. He looked again at what the last name really said, quickly turned over the list and continued calling the names printed on the other side.

LMAO!    Posted 12-30-2003 at 06:20:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
I hadn't heard that one! Very funny Patria.


Les    Posted 12-29-2003 at 17:09:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good one.

RichZ    Posted 12-29-2003 at 08:37:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
From $4.50 a box to 50 cents a box???!!! Yikes!!! And I thought milk prices were bad!!! Man that stinks, Cindi!!! I'm sorry to hear that oranges are going so cheap. Of course, here up north, the prices haven't gone down at the supermarket.

Ya know, a lot of people here up north love getting oranges sent to them directly from Florida. I wonder if you could sell them on the internet, by the bag. I know it would be a hassle, but you make make some good money.

Just a thought.

Cindi    Posted 12-29-2003 at 08:41:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I guess it's possible, but there is a lot of competition in that service here locally. I don't know if you got my e amil, but I sold two more stories!

RichZ    Posted 12-29-2003 at 09:08:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I got it, and I responded!!! I'm very excited for you!!!!! Read my e-mail response!!!

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