Hello vs. Hola

We’re going to move on to serious travel posts soon, and we have some catching up to do, but given the fact that my mother was cackling when I shared this particular interaction with her I figured the world deserved to know of my fiftieth awkward moment (probably just within that week).

Food and I were walking out of our flat, on our way to the beach because we’re trying to soak up the last dying rays in a hasty attempt to make my pasty-white skin look less pasty and white when we had another staircase encounter. It’s gotten to the point of where these happen nearly daily and are stilted because we know very limited Spanish and most the people in our building are older and, therefore, speak very little English. Most the time it consists of a quick “Hola” and us muttering “Buenos something” under our breath while running off because we rarely leave the flat with time to spare. This one, however, played a different tune. 

As we left the flat we heard footsteps coming up the staircase and so we quickly locked our door to move out of the way. This guy, who literally looked like he belonged on some steamy telenovela, rounds the corner and says “Hola”, and I, having lost all blood flow to my brain, pause for three seconds and then blurt out a very loud “Hello!” He stops mid-step and turns, while I, having followed his progress to be certain he is real, look up and, unfortunately, lock eyes with this bewildered-looking man. Another long, stretched out, pause and then, simultaneously the Spanish god and I switch lines and murmur “Hello” and “Hola”. My mind has now melted and is a puddle staining the floors of our apartment building and so before I turn any more red, I say, “Alright, well bye!” and turn tail and walking, swiftly, down the stairs.

Forrest Gump Waves
                      I wish I was as loveable as Tom Hanks.

Now, here’s the thing. Most people notice upon looking at Food and I that we are not from here. I’ve had guesses varying from Russian to Czech to, predictably, American, but my red hair immediately marks me as “non-española”. Most people who can speak English say “Hello”, wanting to practice their English, and while it’d be great if we were forced into practicing Spanish, it doesn’t happen all that often. I don’t know whether this guy simply wasn’t paying attention, but, at any rate, he did not switch to English and my unfortunate brain freeze has resulted in me not wanting to see the demigod-looking-creature again. Unless it’s from afar. Like in a movie or Calvin Klein underwear ad. 

Actual footage of my neighbor. Or maybe a hot model.

After we had safely escaped the building, Food said “Well… he was hot”, and I, like any red-blooded female, echoed her sentiment. While I hadn’t had enough presence of mind to notice anything at all, Food had noticed that he was wearing a ring on the third finger of his “Right? No, left!” hand. After expressing dismay, she turned to me and said something only she’d think of – “Well, maybe he’s not married. It could be a purity ring!”

If Fernweh being a socially incompetent imbecile is funny, check out her near-death experience (potential for being run over and also for dying of embarrassment). To find more about us and our adventures check out our grand “Hello”!    XoXx Fernweh & Food

3 thoughts on “Hello vs. Hola

  1. First of all, I don’t cackle. Now that we have that cleared up, I’m sitting in my car at the barn laughing my butt off! This story fits you both so well!


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