como estas


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I’m a Californian, lived here most of my life.  I’ve had Mexican/Latin friends all of my life

Roommates, housemates, friendships, spanning decades. Our families are interchangeable.   Recently, returning from LA , I called a friend to tell him I was planning to visit his family in Tulare on my way home.  After, I arrived, he told me, his abuela, who is in her nineties cooked throughout the night for my visit.  I still have her delicacies in my freezer.

I met Roberto, my first year of school in Fresno.  I struggled the first few months on my own.  With the exception of my mother in the Bay Area, no one knew of my dire situation.  The only food on my shelves was spaghetti, no meat, no sauce, just pasta and salt until my next pay check.

His family lived in Corcoran, a small city in Kings County.  On my first visit, everyone in his very large family was warm except for the old lady in the green chair (his abuela) I later discovered I was the families first black visitor and abuela didn’t trust black people.

Returning home, they loaded up the back of his truck with boxes of food for him.  I  remember being envious and wishing the food was for me.   When we arrived at my apartment, he said the food WAS for me.  Five boxes of food with cans of soda.  Somehow they knew.  We carried the boxes of food to my door,  I was so ashamed  I wouldn’t let him in my bleak apartment with a small black and white TV and a mattress on the floor.

Through the years my family has become more latin, english is their second language .

Despite my exposure to Spanish, my Spanish sucks.  Some,members of my family, go out of their way to make fun of me.  “I know you know this, say it!  and I do know it, dammit!  but I get it wrong.   Of course they love this.  This winter, I plan to take a few of them, to an isolated area in the mountains, where some of them may be discovered after the spring thaw .

 I can speak 30 words with confidence. I understand about 100 words.  Many friends assume I’m fluent.  Of course, this is usually after they’ve had a few drinks.

Through the years I have purchased, cassettes, books, Cd’s to increase my knowledge of the language, most are unopened.  I only remember the books then is when I’m visiting friends and family.    When it comes to como esta , I’m VERY CONFIDENT!  ‘bien, muy bien.   

WINNING!!!   

If you need an enthusiastic spanish speaking greeter  I’m your man!   I’m friendly!  Buenos días.  Buenas tardes, Buena noches ,adios with a big smile, beyond that it’s uh huh!  

CityFella

 

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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