When our family was in Miami a couple of years ago for a U2 concert, I found that my English, heavy with Southern accent, is not understood by most folks in Miami.. and that my Spanish skills.. well... have a lot to be desired.
My dear friend had to order for us, (no, I cannot even order beans and rice), and I was pathetically grateful for the idiot proof pictures on the bathroom doors so I could distinguish the ladies from the gents.
(no they weren't these, but these ARE pretty funny!)
During our five day visit, I learned one phrase. Papas fritas. Oh joy. I can now order french fries. And thanks to Sesame Street, I can order more than one serving for my family of four. :)
Pending a highly probable future visit to Miami, I am attempting to learn a few more phrases to make life easier during our visit. The same dear friend has taught me to say "No picante, por favor." Which means NO Spicy Please! (I am a wimp and do NOT want to get stuff with spicy food I cannot tolerate.. such as the delicious beans and rice I had last time.) :)
As I walk around, cheerfully chirping out my newest phrase, hubby is amused. I know I'm probably annoying.. and totally running this phrase into the ground, but this is the only way I'm going to remember it. I talked about papas fritas constantly when I first learned it, and now I'm throwing out 'picante' and 'por favor' every chance I get.
Next on my list is how to ask where the restroom is. I am pretty sure that will be helpful, especially since I still don't know what 'el bano' (men or women??) means. :)