a wandering woman writes

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Little People

Sorry to have disappeared for a whole week. Then again, what's an expat blog without a long absence explained by ADSL trouble? I now have a new ISP, crossed fingers, and a lovely collection of unwritten post ideas scribbled on random scraps of paper.

I've been collecting expressions in Spanish. As a further step in my neverending quest to sound more like I live here, since I do live here, I'm trying to pepper my Spanish with slang. And colloquial expressions. To sound less like the books I read, which my teacher Bego tells me just will not do.

Yesterday I stumbled onto a gem.
Straight from the mouth of my effervescent officemate, the lovely Sol, who in a moment of frustration threw up her arms and let this beauty fly:

¡Es que me crecen los enanos!

Allow me translate: Her midgets are growing.

Confused? So was I. But isn't it a fabulous phrase?

Turns out it's a my-luck-is-so-bad, nothing's-going-my-way, I-can't-get-anything-to-go-right castellano classic.

It's shorthand for a longer complaint:

Me pongo un circo and me crecen los enanos.

My luck's so bad I start a circus and my midgets grow!

Now, for my own arm-throwing moments, I've always been partial to blues lyrics: "If it wasn't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all" comes to mind, sung off key while faking a little Albert King air guitar. And I've been known to use "I can't stand up for falling down", although I suspect the Elvis Costello quote dates me. But I'm switching. From now on, me crecen los enanos. In English and Spanish.

You have to love a phrase born of frustration that conjures up such a fantastically fun visual. Who can be frustrated with visions of a circusful of tall midgets?

May your midgets be short, your fat ladies large and your fire-eaters fearless.
And may the gods be with my ADSL.

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  • Hi:
    I enjoy your blog a lot.
    I left a comment in another post: I am from Salamanca but live in Sevilla and I really love reading about my hometown.

    Very funny post ¡¡¡

    By Anonymous Alicia, at 10:49 PM  

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