I was walking around in Tala’s market today with a buddy when some old mlevi (“drunkard”) with a guitar came up to me and started strumming and saying some crazy things. Then, all of the sudden, he mentioned something about La Bamba. The funny thing was, I recognized the beat, and it was right on. I waited a few seconds and then started singing, “Para bailar la bamba… para bailar la bamba… se necessita una poca de gracia.” To my amazement this guy instantly started singing along with me. He may have even known more of the lyrics than me!
The guy was even wearing a Sea World hat that said “Whale Trainer,” hhahahaah! That, and the fact that Despised Icon released some studio clips from the production of their new album, made my day today.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while: my Spanish is gradually being replaced by Swahili. That’s pretty sad when you consider that I studied Spanish for five years in school, not to mention living in San Diego and traveling all over Mexico every year for most of my childhood. Not that I need or use Spanish here in Kenya, but I like to test myself every once in awhile. On a semi-related note, I did eat some beef tacos last week at a funny restaurant in Nairobi called “Taco Club.” My buddy ordered chicken fajitas. The salsa was fresca and the guacamole was delicious, but the rice was more like turmeric rice (Indian…?).
I think I know more Swahili than Spanish now. Maybe I’ll go walk around Mexico for a few weeks when I get back from Kenya in 2009 to refresh my skills. Any takers?
Kwaheri! Or, uh… Adios!