Mar 25, 2009

Wiwille is a dumb gringo

Yesterday I was at the model of efficiency that is the Washington State Department of Licensing. After the renewal of my drivers license I made my way to the car and a gentleman was parked next to me with his hood up. He asked me in a thick accent if I could help him with a jump. I set up the cables and start my car and the man's battery started to charge. He disconnected the cable and the short man thanked me for my assistance.

I took a look at him and replied with 'de nada'. (For those of you who are not familiar with espanol it means 'you're welcome'.

The short dark complected man stared at me with a half grin and said, "I don't speak Spanish."

Oh.

Yeah I'm an idiot, but at least he didn't seem to take offense. I'm sure he went home and told his family how much of a dumb ass white boy I am.

Wiwille, improving cultural relations since 1975.

"Because we should always respect other nationalities, I have always tried to play them with dignity." - Ricardo Montalban

7 comments:

whatigotsofar said...

KAHN!

(I had to be the first to say that.)

Claire said...

Hee. I still kind of impressed you know how to do a jump! I need to learn more about cars one day...

Cxx

Mattbear said...

@Claire:
I don't know how it is over there, but over here, if you don't know how to jump start a car your Man Card gets revoked. For women it's acceptable, though. We Manly Men need the occassional damsel-in-distress situation. :)

As far as speaking Spanish to the guy, living in Arizona I learned pretty quickly that, culturally speaking, hispanics tend to find it condescending when us whiteys try to speak Spanish to them. They either think we're being insulting, or we have a stupid accent. At least, that's been my experience.

JLee said...

hahah...oops!
This woman I work with is clearly of Hispanic origin and people used to speak Spanish to her all the time. Little did they realize she was adopted and didn't understand a word!

Jessica said...

One word: uncomfortable.

But hey, kudos for being a good citizen. :)We need more of those around.

Big Ben said...

I try to stereotype people all the time, makes life easier.

Miss Ash said...

Oh noooo! When I came back from Japan I wanted to speak to the waitstaff at this Japenese restaurant in the few words I had learned while away. Then I thought...hmmm what if they're not Japanese...so I refrained.

WV: gynrio