To start, a public service announcement. There are only 23 shopping days left before my birthday (Sept 12), and contrary to what some may have heard, I am accepting birthday gifts this year. In case you feel so inclined, my address is:
Jofre 0180, Depto. 43
Citofono 243, Providencia
(The 0 before 180 is important, and there are accents over the e in Jofre and the first o in citofono.)
Alright, now with that little bit of business out of the way, we can get on to the meat of the entry.
Oh, also before I forget, the nickname I was given was "wena Erik", not "weon Erik". weon is more or less a fool, and I believe "wena" is more or less lucky. They called me that because I attracted a bit more than my share of attention from the females at this party we went to. Which works out well for me, because aside from the obvious reasons, it means the guys will want to hang out with me more often to meet girls. Thus, I get more opportunity to practice Spanish. And sadly, I need as much practice as I can get. This shit is not easy.
One of the fellow professors I met down here said that coming to chile to learn Spanish is like moving to New York City to learn English. A little more difficult, and people will forever know where I learned to speak. It reminded me of meeting this girl who works in HR for the Instituto. One day while I was waiting for one of the directors to come back from lunch in her office, and while I was waiting I started hitting on her. At first she was very measured and exact in her English responses, but once she started talking a little more freely, it became blatantly obvious that she learned English in Scotland. "got", "lot", and "what" - they all made her sound like the secretary of William Wallace. It was adorable.
Sadly, I don't think it will be the same for me. Nobody calls the NYC accent adorable. I'll just be the gringo who uses dirty Spanish. Dirty as in warped from textbook Spanish, not palabras sucias. Well, maybe a few of those as well, but only when necessary.