El Salvador, Pupusas, and a Spanish Lesson
Summary: Our two largest immigrant groups in Washington DC are Ethiopians and Salvadorans. I recently rode back to Alexandria with Rolanda (not real name) who is originally from El Salvador. Along the way, she helped me with my terrible Spanish and shared what she liked and didn’t like about being a driver.
Bryan: Muy bien. Lo siento. No hablo mucho espanol. (Very well. I am sorry. I dont speak much Spanish)
Rolanda You are doing fine. A Donde vas? (Where are you going?)
Bryan: Voy a ver mi mujer. (I am going to see my lady)
Bryan: Yes. So I would say “Voy a ver a mi esposa” right? (I am going to see my wife)
Rolanda: I’ve been driving a couple months. I am a chef in a restaurant and I would like to have more hours but I do not have the seniority. Whenever I have time, I can make some extra money. Sometimes I just want to stay at home but I am not helping myself when I do that.
Rolanda: Most people are nice like you. Some people are disrespectful though. Especially young couples (hugs herself and makes loud kissing noises). They should not do that. They may be paying for the ride but this is my car. It is like my office. I would not do that in their office.
Bryan: Sure. My last driver was telling me how he picked up two women during PRIDE. There were dressed as pixies with wings, wands, and all sorts of glitter. They had been drinking and got in a big fight in the back seat and there was glitter flying around. So one of the pixies stormed got out of the car and the otherwise was crying and said she wasn’t ready to go home and demanded he drive her around the neighborhood until she calmed down. He said he has been finding glitter in the backseat weeks later.
Rolanda: I don’t drive late at night so nothing too crazy happens. For female drivers, its is better to finish early. There was one time I was scared. A man, also Latino, gets in and we were speaking Spanish. He kept saying things to me like “You need to be careful driving alone….someone could just pull over and rob you…you need to watch out because you never know what could happen” and I was starting to feel uncomfortable. When he got out of the car he lifted his shirt to show me that he had a gun on him. I don’t think he would have done anything – but he had a gun, so he could have if he wanted to.