Monday, March 17, 2008

I Don't Speak that Language Either

The change in altitude and temperature—one down and one way, way up—made me punchy. Even though it was ten at night when we checked into our hotel in Cartagena, I wanted to go out and see this UNESCO World Heritage site immediately.

"Come with me to get a juice!" I'd read that there were 24-hour fresh juice stands just outside the main gate to the colonial walled city that we were staying in.

And so we walked down to the plaza where slave trading had once occurred, through the main gate to this fortress of a Caribbean city, and just to the left. Most of the stands sold shrimp cocktail or ceviche, but one served fresh juice.

"Jugo de ananas, por favor," I pointed to the pineapple. A fresh pineapple juice sounded divine.

"Pina," said C sharply, when the vendor looked puzzled. Then he lowered his voice.

"Ananas is Arabic."



Matt Hollingsworth said...

It's not *just* Arabic. Pineapple is "Ananas comosus", it's genus is "ananas". In Croatian we also say Ananas.

Steve Buccellato said...

That's why everyone should be forced to speak English. ;)

Ed Ward said...

Ananas is also German and French. Who knows, it may even be Spanish Spanish.

Anne-Marie Weeden said...

The dutch also favour the ananas.

Almost as good as my normally very linguistically talented friend trying to order some 'donkey' with our breakfast of toasted bread and coffee near Salamanca in Northern Spain. Non, non, I said, dredging up memories of breakfasts in South America a few years before. Mantequilla, por favor.

It's the only time I've ever felt cleverer than her and I relished it...