A First Time For Everything

I noticed this morning that the charge cord for my phone was fraying, needing a repair with some electrical tape, which I didn’t have. So it was time for me to finally set foot in Isla’s small hardware store.

Isla de la Piedra hardware store

I thought I’d be able to poke around and so did not do any linguistic research ahead of time… As it turns out, the store really is tiny and you have to ask for what you want at the counter. So I told the gal behind the desk, “Busco cinta électrica para reparar alambre,” which was the best I could come up with off the top of my head. Literally, “I’m looking for electrical tape to repair wiring.” I knew cinta means tape in the context of sewing (cinta de contact is velcro) and alambre means wiring in the telecom world, but I had no idea if the words applied in this particular context. Well, the gal replied with the magical “¡Claro!”, which means you’ve been understood, and pulled out two different roll sizes. Woohoo!

As it turns out, the proper term for electrical tape is “cinta de aislar,” with aislar meaning isolation or insulation. The latter makes sense in an electrical context, in that you use the tape to insulate your wires.

The roll of tape was $7, or 0.54CAD. I’m pretty sure I pay a lot more than that back home.

So that was fun. Apple, please make better charging cables.

12 thoughts on “A First Time For Everything

  1. With your language skills, instead of… sounds like 2nd syllable (charades)… you do awesome. I can order a beer or several, ask for the ticket, find the bathroom & say good night. 😉
    You do awesome 😀

    • If you can order beer and find a way to get rid of it, you’re doing better than a lot of Gringos I see down here. 😀

  2. Even at my level I find everyone tries to understand you &/or either help you. No problems. Food, drink, ride home… done 😀

    • Oh, absolutely. The patience of the Mexican people towards non-Spanish speakers is astounding! I just want to get to a measure of fluency for the heck of it. 😀

  3. I know & that’s awesome that you can converse with them as you are. I think it also helps that you can read & write it. I can’t do that… maybe read very little but no way write any of it. Plus you have several other languages under your belt which is very useful.
    Kudos Kid!! 😀

    • It really helps that I speak French. Spanish is just so different from English it’s no wonder English only speakers have a difficult time learning it.

  4. Don’t you just love it when their response is, “Claro!” I am impressed at how well you figure out words.

    • Don’t forget that I had *years* of Spanish lessons before coming here. It was a while ago, but it’s all in my head. That’s the only reason I’m making such exponential progress with the language.

  5. It’s been 6 days. It’s not like you to be MIA for this long.
    I hope all is well and you are just having boat loads of fun.

    • Thanks for checking in. 🙂 Not much going on, I’m afraid. Just work and daily life. I’ve been tagging in on Facebook, but haven’t done anything that warrants a post.

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