As Monday lazily rolled around the corner, I stopped a moment to consider my weekend. I didn’t really do anything, but I did keep up with my homework. I did stop time for a moment and sat down to watch the Bourne Ultimatum (which is pretty good, fyi).

I remembered playing a memory game on friday when we were all sitting by the little river in the Paramo, just my three Venezuelan compadres Lankins, Keila, Eliza and me, all seated in that order. We all thought that it was a simple enough game, but Eliza reviewed the rules just to be safe. Lankins started off saying, “dos limones, medio limon.”

Keila follows up with “dos limones, medio limon, cuatro limones”

Now it’s Eliza’s turn “dos limones, medio limon, cuatro limones, seis limones”

Then my turn, “dos limones, medio limon, cuatro limones, seis limone… (translated) Hey, why can Lankins say two different amounts of limes?”

Eliza explains the rules (in spanish) again, this time adding that Lankins should have only said one amount of limes on his turn, even though he started.

Lankins starts again. “Medio limon,” he says.

Keila takes a turn, saying “Medio limon, tres limones.”

Lankins interjects before Eliza starts her turn. “Doesn’t she have to take the number I said and multiply it by two?” he asks the group.

“No!” Eliza says, going over the rules in spanish a third time. “okay,” she says after explaining as thoroughly as possible, “does everyone get it?”

“Great,” she says. “Let’s start again. Lankins, you go first again.”

“Okay, Dos limones, medio limon” he states confidently.

I feel a “Noooooo!” escape my lips, and then we wonder how it is that Lankins was still a bit confused about the rules, whereas the gringo got it on the first try. We were all mildly exasperated, but on the fourth try, we all finally got it.

After playing for about three or four rounds (that’s 16 different quantities of limones to remember folks!) I became convinced that Lankins was actually the one who knew the rules and strategies the best and was just giving us the run around. It was pretty funny, I will say that.

Later that day, we stopped by a restaurant. It served traditional Venezuelan fair, and as such the waiter brought us out an appetizer of arepas and cream. Eliza asked me “Como sabe?” meaning, “how does it taste?”  I pulled the old… “They’re TERRIBLE! I’ll eat all of them so you guys won’t have to suffer.” But, since it was in Spanish, it took longer than it should have for me to get out the second part. Because my back was to the waiter, I could not see that he was within earshot of the table.

I was horribly worried when I finished the joke and Eliza told me that she thought that the waiter didn’t understand I was joking. Thus, by the time that the waiter would return to drop off our beverages, I wanted to be sure he knew I wasn’t serious.

The service was speedy, but I was determined that the best way to prove that I liked the food was to finish the entire basket of arepas by the time he returned. While I stuffed my mouth full of the pita like substance, our waiter entered the room valiently carrying a tray with assorted fruit juices. Just before he left the table, I turned to him, and spitting crumbs everywhere, I managed to eek out “Mufas Wofias.”

(muchas gracias)

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