Stories from my 14-month study abroad in Buenos Aires, my 16-month post-college move to Miami, and my get-me-the-hell-out-of-Miami move to Denver

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Accent and the cooks

So, life in Minneapolis is going pretty well. I'm living with 9 other people in a huge campus house. It's a pretty fun situation, with everyone adding something to the unique mix of people. Work is going well, and I hopefully will become a salsa bartender before the end of the summer. I was recommended by a current salsa bartender because she is looking to cut back on her shifts. They want someone young, good-looking, with bartending experience and spanish speaking to take over for her shifts. I fit the bill.

However, this post is about something else, the Porteño accent and the cooks from work.

I was really worried that the cooks from work wouldn't respect me because of the Argentine accent that I speak with. It's a well-known fact, throughout the Spanish speaking world, that the Porteño accent is the cockiest, most arrogant accent to have. The reasons behind that are a whole other post, but either way, it's just a very well-known accent.

Well, all my fears were completely unfounded. The cooks at work are so cool with me. I've become "El Argentino" when they want to get my attention or talk to me. They make light jokes about my accent, to which I rebuttle with jokes about their use of "Oye guey!" and "Chinga (fill in the blank)." They also respect the fact that , a year ago, I left the restaurant speaking horrible gringo spanish and I came back speaking almost like a native. These guys, the majority of which arrived in the US with absolutely no english experience, know how difficult it is to learn a foreign langauge. Lastly, I actually have real conversation with them. So many people just know spanish swear words or other vulgar phrases that they think are funny to use. I'm sure the cooks get sick of always hearing these gringo-ed phrases and enjoy having a real conversation once in awhile.

It's pretty cool.