I turned my head at this huge object which had wandered between the sun and me as I sat on a bench in Plaza de Mayo watching the kids chase the pigeons. Slowly my eyes came into focus and I could vaguely make out the outline of a behemoth of a man that had caused this eclipse.
“DO…YOU…SPEAK…ENGLISH???”, asked the man.
I glanced at his equally spherical spouse and then back at him. Wondering why Americans think that if they speak LOUD…AND…SLOW then ‘locals’ can understand them, I decided to have some fun.
Silently nodding my head so these examples of American greatness wouldn’t pick up on my non-Argentine accent, I watched as this pair of enormous bowling balls with legs smiled at each other.
Still squinting into the sun at his tourist version of Pike’s Peak, he repeated himself:
Ahhh…it dawned on me what he was saying. Trying to find out where “Casa Rosada” (the Argentine version of The White House) was, he badly mangled the name and confirmed my suspicion that these were more typical American tourists that had come to Argentina loaded down with suntan oil and carried Nikon cameras around their necks and Kevingston shopping bags in their hands.
In my mind, I raised my arm and slowly pointed to the giant pink building that stood half the length of a football field behind him and said, “It’s right behind your fat, dumb ass buddy”.
Instead, I just smiled, pointed and said, “That’s it right over there.”
Startled that they had actually found someone that speaks fluent English the two watermelons with appendages took a step back and still stared at me. Their next question just about had me rolling around on the ground laughing my ass off.
“Can the guard tell us if Madonna is around?”
Still not believing that this example of American intelligence would even ask such a question, I glanced at the clock on the church tower, looked back at him and told him and his wife, “Well, she’s supposed to come out and stand on the balcony every hour and sing ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’. Stick around. She’ll be doing her cuckoo clock imitation in about fifteen minutes.
The man and his wife smiled and thanked me before turning and waddling away with that peculiar American gait that is best noticed when you’ve been surrounded by Argentine’s for two months.