It's Amy, AGAIN. But my new Cuban nickname is Kikita. (more on that another day)
Anyway, my uncle is in town. Ok, he's actually my mom's uncle which makes him my tio abuelo, but we call him Tio Timbiriche. (like I said, more on nicknames another day)
So his first night in town, Luza (my abuela) has made congri as part of the welcome feast for Tio Timbiriche and my aunt made empanadas. Everything was delicious. Obviously, my first question to this tio abuelo that I haven’t seen in years is, “Quien es San Apapusio?” ;-)
And so it begins. I thought I spoke Spanish well and could hold my own with Cubans. I thought wrong.
Day 1 and I’m already lost and asking for all kinds of explanations.
My abuela starts talking about how she cooks “con ojo de buen cubero.”
I won’t even tell you what I thought I heard her say . . .
But I will tell you that I’d never heard her say it before. So I ask what it means. And they explain it to me.
The conversation turns from cooking to baldness. (no, I have no idea how it happened) We start discussing who in the family is more prone to baldness. Random, I know. My cousin starts talking about genetics (in English because it’s easier for her). As it turns out, baldness is genetic.
While she and I are deeply involved in genetics, the Spanish-speakers have moved on and someone says something about “la familia de Roque Pilon y Perendenge.”
Excuse me? Who are these people? Are we related?
These questions get peals of laughter from the older crowd. And they tell me to give up asking questions. I try to explain to them that I don’t even care where it came from anymore . . . I just need to know when would be a good time to use it. I’d hate to go and try to my practice my new Cuban phrases on my two Cuban friends and mess up something as fun to say as “la familia de Roque, Pilon, y Perendenge.”
Yes, I admit it. I thought it was three people, not one guy with three names.
I’m finally starting to understand all the new things I’ve learned today when my cousin (who missed most of the Spanish conversation) sticks out her tongue and says, “You know what else is genetic?”
So it starts. The tongue twisting.
And finally we have a "lengua" we all understand. ;-)