Monday, December 29, 2008

Vignettes from Reid's Visit

I. The Case of the Lost Luggage
(All loosely translated from Spanish)
American Airlines Customer Service (AACS): Please hold.
Me: (Holds.)
AACS: Hello, how can we help you?
Me: Hi, I’m calling about a lost suitcase. You’ve been telling me it will get delivered for the last two days and it’s still not here.
AACS: Let me just check my computer system for an unnecessarily long time… oh, we can’t deliver that suitcase! You have to come back to the airport [a $30US taxi ride from central Santo Domingo] and get it.
Me: Seriously what.
AACS: Yes, you have to come identify it in person. We have it right there at the airport.
Me: You seriously can’t deliver it like you’ve been telling me the last two days?
AACS: Nope. Have a good day!

--

Me: Hi, I’m calling to check on a missing suitcase. Do I seriously have to come to the airport and get it? Someone told me that earlier this morning but I was wondering if maybe you could deliver it anyway.
AACS: Oh no, ma’am, you have to come to the airport and get it.
Me: Eff.

--

(At the airport)
Me: Hi, we’re here to get a lost suitcase.
American Airlines Guy: Come with me to our lost suitcase office. (Leads Reid & I on a hike around the airport, eventually ending in a small hangar behind the main building.)
Me: Here’s the tag.
AAG: That should be in this section.
Reid: It’s not here.
(We examine every suitcase in the hangar, determining that none of them are Reid’s.)
Me: (Muttered) If they’re delivering it to the airport I am seriously going to kill someone.
AAG: Well, I’m sure we have your suitcase somewhere! Let’s just go to our other office.
(We follow him on another airport trek.)
AAG2: Let me just flip through a giant binder of luggage information. Please wait while the three other guys who work in this office stare at you…. Hmm…. There sure is a lot of information in this binder… let me make a phone call…hmm… oh, your suitcase is being delivered to your hotel today! It should be there in ten minutes.
Me: Really. (Long glare)

But hey, at least they did eventually deliver it, and in one piece!

II. The Christmas Party
(Reid & I have foolishly arrived at the school Christmas party in my town at 10am, exactly on time. The Nun and two other teachers are setting up tables in the gym. It is otherwise empty. Once more, loosely translated from Spanish.)
Me: Hi, Nun! This is my brother, Reid.
Nun: Hello, Reid, nice to meet you.
Reid: Hola.
Me: Um, do you want help setting up?
Nun: Oh, no. I know I said the party started at 10am but people will come later. Why don’t you two just sit down over there?
Me & Reid: (Sit down over there; wait for an hour during which one other person arrives).
Me: Let’s run back to my house and get some bug spray. (We do so, and also watch an episode of Arrested Development on my computer. We return to the party half an hour later, which now has at least a handful of people, all of whom wish to practice their English on Reid, who answers the questions “What your name?” “How are you?” and “Do you like Dominican Republic?” many, many times.)

III. The Rafting Trip
(Reid & I are waiting to go on a white-water rafting drip in Jarabacoa. Our trip includes free breakfast, which we are eating. Well, I am.)
Me: You’re not hungry, Reid?
Reid: I feel kind of sick.
Me: Oh, why didn’t you say so earlier? Do you still want to go?
Reid: I think I just need some water, maybe…
Me: Do you want some Pepto Bismol or anything?
Reid: (Abruptly stands up and pukes in the bushes) I feel better now.

(We go rafting, which is fun and exciting, although the experience is slightly marred by our obnoxious German guide, who kept pulling bullshit like getting us to paddle our raft in a circle, or steering us backwards under waterfalls. Also, I was sitting directly in front of him and he kept dripping water down the back of my neck. Afterwards, on the open-air truck ride back, Reid threw up again. That evening, I started down my own journey through Vomitland, making for a super-fun few days of vacation.)

Bonus from during the rafting trip:

(We are pulling up on shore for a mid-trip snack.)
Me: (Steps out of boat, promptly trips over a rock and scrapes my elbow wicked bad)

(Conversation repeated many, many times thereafter)
Other Rafter: Wow, your elbow’s bleeding a lot! Did you fall out in one of the rapids?
Me: Umm, no, I just tripped over a rock during our snack break.

IV. Christmas Vignettes

(We spent Christmas at my friend Keane’s house with some other volunteers. Keane made Indian food for us and we hung out, ate, and played Scrabble and charades. We didn’t have a tree, although I did bring some Christmas lights and haphazardly strew them on the floor. It was a pretty awesome Christmas.)

Jo: Where’s the nearest vet?
Carly: There must be some in the capital.
Me: Lissette would know.
Jo: Aww, this joke never works with Peace Corps volunteers, you’re all so helpful. Ask me why I need a vet!
Carly: Why do you need a vet?
Jo: (strikes muscle pose) Cuz these pythons are SICK!
Me: … well, I’m glad your cat’s okay.

(We are playing charades.)
Me: (Mimes “book,” “two words.”)
Keane: The Secret!!*
Me: (Nods, sits down.)
Evan: You guys spend too much time together.

*A self-help book, that we and some other PC friends are obsessed with making fun of, and of which certain other PC volunteers are devotees.

Carly: It’s baby Jesus’ birthday!!
Evan: When is adolescent Jesus’ birthday?

Jo: Evan, how do you spell Chanukah?
Evan: There’s no right way… it’s transliterated from Hebrew so it doesn’t really matter.
Jo: I mean, is there a c? Is there one k or two?
Evan: Seriously, there’s no right way. Any of those is fine.
Jo: Okay, how do YOU spell Chanukah?
Evan: It really doesn’t matter.
Jo: What about C-h-a-n-u-k-u-a-h?
Evan: Well, I wouldn’t put a u at the end.
Jo: I thought you just said there was no right way!!
Evan: Yeah… but there are some wrong ways.



V. Public Transportation
(Reid & I are waiting for a guagua to leave Keane’s site to head back to the capital. An old man has approached Reid seeking money. He speaks English, although with a speech impediment.)
Man: My name is Miguel, do not forget my name!
Reid: Okay.
Miguel: What’s your name?
Reid: Um… Reid.
Miguel: This street is called Enriquillo! That street is called Duarte! That other street is Bolivar! Give me five pesos!
Reid: Um, I don’t have any money.
Me: (Returns to conversation)
Miguel: My name is Miguel, what’s your name?
Me: Renata.
Miguel: Do you know about God?
Me: Yes.
Miguel: Are you two married?
Reid: No, we’re brother and sister.
Miguel: You’re brother and sister? You look very different. You’re tall, you’re short; you’re skinny, you’re fat; you’re white, you’re dark… very different.
Me: Well, we’re all God’s children.
Miguel: That’s true! That’s true! How did you know that?
Me: (Smiles)
Miguel: That hill is called Loma Verde!
Me: (Smiles)
Miguel: Goodbye! God bless you!
Me: Same to you.
Miguel: (Leaves)
Reid: … that was hilarious. I can’t believe you said that.
Me: Ohh, I tell that to guys on the street every day.

3 comments:

Priscilla said...

What an adventure! Hi, Reid!

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