Saturday, November 10, 2007

Showing off in the city

The busboy's tshirt says Yo no soy feo. I wanted to showoff my broken Spanish to my friends who are in the town for a holiday so I playfully said No, no. La frase, no es cierta, referring to the words written across his black cotton tshirt. He gave me a smile while he cleaned up our table. Later, I realized that I had made a jerk out of myself because what I had said was not what I meant. Basically, his shirt says he is not ugly and I told him that is not true.

I've always had problems with double negative statements. I don't think it is a language thing because I also do it in my native language of Tagalog and Spanish is notorious when it comes to double negation. Even in computer programming languages where using negative conditions is considered a bad programming habit, I still have to sit down and draw a chart to clearly understand double negations when I encounter them.

As far as the busboy is concerned, he is far from being unfortunate looking, he could even be mistaken for an actor in a soap opera. I wanted to redeem myself that evening but that was the first and the last time I saw him. And the worst thing about this is, I was showing off to my friends!

I should go to therapy.


(The photo above is the hotel area in downtown San Francisco from the city's Mission district.)

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