Storytelling at Work calls itself a blog about the power of personal storytelling, they recently posted a hillarious tale that took place in SMA…
So there I am at La Comer, San Miguel de Allende;s biggest grocery store, having just located the papayas, soymilk, and rice cakes, when I look down at my list and notice there is an item I’ve still not found — an item my dear, sweet wife needed badly in order to prepare her special dinner tonight: MINCED GARLIC.
Unable to remember the Spanish word for “garlic”, I realize there’s no point asking anyone in the store to direct me to the proper aisle for an item I can’t name, so I begin aimlessly wandering around the largest grocery store in San Miguel, as I attempt to identify what category of food “minced garlic” might belong to: Condiment? Vegetable? Spice?
“Garlic, garlic, garlic,” I begin chanting under my breath, but no Spanish equivalent comes to mind. Nada. Zero. Zippo. This goes on for way too long. And then… praise the Lord…and pass the guacamole, appearing from who knows where… badaboom, badabing… it comes to me in a flash: “OJO!” Yes, OJO! That’s it! The three-letter word for garlic in español has somehow bubbled to the surface of what is left of my mind.
Brilliant! Genius! Ojo!
My energy newly soaring, I’m an hombre on a mission and though I have no clue how to say “minced” in Spanish, I don’t really care. I mean, how difficult could it be to find the fourth item on my list — especially since I know the word for “small” in Spanish is “pequeno” which is almost exactly the same thing as “minced”. Right?
Boom! Claro! Excelente!
Not wanting to spend the rest of my day wandering aimlessly around the largest grocery store in San Miguel, I set off to find the nearest clerk, which I accomplish in less than a minuto. There, only 30 feet away, stocking cereal in Aisle 5, is Javier.
“Señor,” I say, respectfully, “una pregunta, por favor. Donde esta los ojos pequeños en una botella?”