All in a Day

Random yet inter-related:

• We got a call from our conjunto security at around 7 pm. Our ceramics teacher was here to see us. What could she possibly want at 7 pm in the evening? We don’t live close.

It turns out she stopped by to drop off a bowl that Jade made to give to our nanny for her birthday tomorrow. The bowl turned out really great and she knew that Jade was anxious to have it in time for our nanny’s birthday. She drove all the way to our house to drop it off. How sweet!

• A neighbor pulled up alongside me when I was going for my daily walk. He insisted I get in the car after I told him that I would prefer to walk. He said he needed to talk to me. OK. “You need to hang out with my wife”, he said. “Go for a walk. Go for coffee. We are going to Orlando soon and she needs to practice her English. But she is only available after 6 pm and on the weekends.”

I tried to gracefully say that I would love to get together with his wife but that doing so regularly would be challenging for me in the hours he mentioned given family obligations. He disregarded what I said, pulled out his cell phone, and called his wife. “Here talk to her”, he said. “In English so she starts practicing now.” I felt like I was being held hostage.

“Hi”, she said in Spanish. “I was wondering if you would teach me English.”
I told her that I would be happy to get together with her occasionally but that, if she wanted to learn English, she really needs to take an English class. The regular structure would help her.

“Could you teach me?” she said again. Really, these neighbors were being a little pushy. I had to tell her that while I speak English, I don’t actually teach English and I don’t really have the time to learn how to teach. I was probably very rude by Colombian standards. But common, that was a little pushy.

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