Sunday, March 18, 2012

You Say Pollo…

We walked over to the little restaurant in the Pemex last night for dinner. We were the only customers and, as is usual in Mexico, the place looked and smelled spotless. Every one of the six or seven tables had a fresh tablecloth on it and the tile floor gleamed.

The well dressed young waiter brought us a menu. There was little on it for a non meat eater like me but I quickly spotted a tuna salad and vegetable soup. There were actually several soups offered but right at the top of the list was plain “sopa vegetal”, followed by the next soup on the list, “sopa vegetal con pollo”. I read the first to him and in meticulous handwriting he wrote  down  “sopa vegetal con pollo”.  I said “no pollo” and  he went into a long spiel in Spanish that I could not follow.  I pointed to the entry on the menu and again said “no pollo”  and he again went into his spiel.  I told him to forget the soup and to just bring me the tuna salad, “Ensalada de Atun”.

At this point Norma got mad at me for giving up and took over the ordering of my soup. I gave up listening because there was an obvious failure to communicate but soon they both nodded and she said he understood. Well, maybe not so much because I got my nice tuna salad accompanied by a large bowl of chicken soup.

Pronunciation is very important in Spanish and I was pronouncing pollo as “polo” (like in the horseback game), where the actual pronunciation is “poyo”. I guess this was the problem, he had no idea what I was talking about and was used to everyone ordering the chicken variety of soup. Earlier, Norma walked into the same restaurant and asked to see the menu. The woman who was there at the time told her there was no menu even though there was a pile if them on the counter. Norma picked one up and the woman laughed and told her the correct pronunciation, which sounded pretty close to our pronunciation but obviously not close enough.

Anyway, all ended well, I got my tuna salad and Norma ate the soup. I suspect he was telling us they had no plain vegetable soup and was recommending the chicken variety. Oh well, another night in Mexico. The Pemex was very quiet all night. Life here is a little confusing at times but Good!

Photos: You may have noticed a lack of Photos on the Blog recently. Now both computers are refusing to recognize the photo card. I am working on the problem and have been advised to remove the batteries for a time to let everything reset.


  1. One of the joys of being here:)

    You can always get queso quesadillas.

  2. Croft, add a new word to your Spanish dictionary "sin" = without.
    It is hard heading home, isn't it!?
    We are down to our last week. Still looking for a great fish taco at our end!

  3. Yep, pronunciation is so important. My screw up where I discovered if finally is a "Deposito" or the place you take returnable beer bottles. I was saying it with the English vowels instead of saying as "dayposeto"