So back to the unexplainable. Rusty and I had Spanish class today. Little did I know that Rusty took Spanish in high school. I knew that the man attended a year of college in France . . . came home to sweep me off my feet with his French (though we’ll not mention the French-speaking girlfriends from that year abroad). So, darling, don’t tell me that you have no experience with a foreign language. I’m not buying it.
This was my second Spanish class here in Samara . . . Rusty’s first. I took several semesters of Spanish here and there during my college days. Whether I ever completed a course is a bit blurry. What's clear is that I retained little. But being a Latin-based language, Spanish isn’t too different from French (it’s really not); so I have a bit of a head start . . . and so should Rusty (remember his university year abroad).
Yesterday Rusty deigned to review the Spanish homework and vocabulary pages that I brought home from my first class. I felt as if I was pulling teeth to get the man to review a page of vocabulary, two verbs (conjugated), and a list of helpful idioms. Rusty would say otherwise, but believe you me, he really didn’t want to study Spanish. Or perhaps, inexplicably, he simply didn’t want to study with me . . . and I won’t try to over-analyze that . . . any further . . . again. But if anyone out there can figure out that issue, bring it.
So we got to the Spanish terms describing weather, hace buena tiempo, for example; and Rusty begins to bluster about the crazy use of the verb to do/to make when it comes to weather . . . why isn’t it Esta uno bueno dia? he demanded. And why is it Usted tiene vergüenza and Yo tengo sed (literally, I have thirst)? Why isn’t it Estoy sed (I’m thirsty), Rusty asks?
We’ll I don’t know, my precious pet . . . why is it il fait du vent in French, j’ai faim, et tu n’a pas de raison (you’re so wrong that I'm stunned, so just get the #%@* over it) . . . okay, that's a close translation. Consider ‘em idioms, dearest. And you try explaining to a non-native-English speaker the following:
- Sweep you off your feet
- I’m not buying that
- It was like pulling teeth
- Beat around the bush
- Costs and arm and a leg
- A far cry from
- Feeling a bit under the weather
- Heard in through the grapevine
We arrived at Spanish class and all of Rusty's horsey attitude vanished. Evidently you can lead a horse to water and teach the horse to accept an idiom.
We found our pals Roy and Peter in town after class. Peter's an expert in Spanish; so we invited them home to show-off our new Spanish verbs. They weren't at all interested in Spanish (though very tolerant). They were curious about the butter-topped pie made from whipped-cream-turned-to-butter. And so I demonstrated my less-than-five-minutes-from-cream-to-butter production. Science in the kitchen. Why does it work? I couldn't even begin to think about knowing how to answer that question. Lo Que Hay.