Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spanish Fatigue

I am tired from Spanish.  Not "of" Spanish (though I have my moments), but "from."  Little every day interactions like calling the corner store for water, greeting the neighbors, answering wrong number calls on the phone, asking where things are at the grocery store (which is not arranged intuitively), listening to the sermon and talking to everyone in Spanish (more or less) Sunday mornings, and reading signs are all exhausting when added up in time over time.  Not to mention converting pesos to dollars!  I have to do this in my head with every price because I still need to know what it would be in dollars to know if it's expensive or not.  And since there are about 40 pesos to a dollar, it's some pretty tough math.  Sometimes I'm like, wow, that's a thousand pesos??, only to realize that that's $25.  Or if I'm shortchanged 10 pesos I can remind myself, OK, we're talking a quarter here . . .

But it's interesting, I think culture shock is mostly having to notice more around me than I would in my home culture (because things are different and I have to analyze it and think, for example, wow, is it a good idea for him to be carrying a propane tank on the back of a moto?) and having to think more than usual to talk or perform daily interactions.  Just a lot of energy.  So still wanting to learn a lot of Spanish but not wanting to make much effort these days.  Just want to become fluent without trying.

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