Grecia, Costa Rica: Part II

Hello again! I hope this finds everyone well and happy!

I have more -itos in the interest of time:

QUESTIONS:
It seems that Spanish-speakers must learn different nonverbal cues than English-speakers. One of my main ires is that I’m constantly unsure when I’ve been asked a question. I am actually listening to the sound of the speakers voice, and waiting for it to go up at the end to signal a question. No such thing. Or at least, not all the time. And when I ask if the speaker was directing their speech at me, the speaker will take the question as though I either didn’t pay attention, or I did not understand a word. They will often repeat the “question” exactly how they did before, without the tell-tale nonverbal cue. Again, I ask if this statement they’ve made is a question. And yet again, they will try to explain it to me. The joke is this, I understand perfectly the words they have chosen to express themselves. What I don’t get is what they are expecting as a result of these words!! Oh well.

FINISHED SENTENCES:
Also, along those lines, it appears that people who live within the same regional group and see each other for most of their lives don’t finish certain sentences. Not all, but many. And yet, everyone born in the same region understands perfectly these partial thoughts. It helps to keep in mind that Spanish is a high-context language, where few words are needed to effectively get a point across. However, because I am a contextual learner, I need the context to understand.

PREPARED ANSWERS:
I find it easier to speak in Spanish about something with which I am very familiar versus improvisational speaking. This is very natural for learned speakers.

SAYINGS:
One of the sayings most used that I’ve heard in Grecia is “¡Que espanto!” which literally means, “What a scare!” It is used like the expression, “Oh for Pete’s sake!”

GRAMMAR:
Also in Grecia, I’ve noticed that most of the people use the verb acordar as a synonym for the verb recordar. This is unusual to me because I’m used to acordar having a connotation of putting one’s mind on something, and recordar having the connotation of only remembering.

OVENS:
The kitchen’s hidden cookie jar (when not in use).

GAS STATIONS:
There are service gas stations here, meaning, there is no such concept as “self-serve”.

SUGARCANE:
Sugarcane here grows in fields like corn grows in Indiana. And the smell of the molasses when the cane is burned in the graneries is overpowering–it smells good in small amounts, but not all at once.

DOORKNOBS:
The only doorknobs I’ve seen in this country are generally on the front door. All other doors have locks that slide.

I’m out of time!! Next time I’ll expound on Northamerican/Latinamerican relationships here in Grecia. We have some stories to tell…

Have a wonderful day!!

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