Monday, December 10, 2007

Recibo de Ventas

Note: The United States does not have an official language. Many Americans don't seem to know this.

Last night I went grocery shopping at my local Hispanic grocery, where I have started to shop more and more, since I discovered that they carry fresh milk, which the Asian groceries don't.
It was cold--near 0 degrees--so I wore my hat with ears, which I didn't bother to take off when I checked out.

Usually the Spanish-speaking cashiers switch to English when they serve me, but I guess this woman couldn't tell, what with me so bundled up (and being half Italian, I am not so far removed anyway), and she greeted me with her usual "Hola!"
I replied "Hola," but she sussed me out, (even one word gives away an accent), and when I paid she said "Thank you."
Still, I was kind of pleased to be temporarily Spanish speaking. Which I am sorry to say I am not, though I have picked up lots of bits and pieces of the language.

When I got home I noticed for the first time that the sales receipt is entirely in Spanish.
Here's what I bought, in both languages:

Marissa's Supermarket
Cashier: Carmelita

Recibo de Ventas

El gallito frijoles negros...$0.99
Adelita Maiz Dulce...$0.99
Nopales en Bolsa...$2.19
Tortilla de harina...$2.29
Chile Pimiento Rojo...$0.52

Total $6.98


Sales Receipt

Little Chicken [brand] black beans
Little Adele [brand] sweet corn
Prickly Pear Cactus in a Bag (i.e., de-spined and cut up)*
Flour tortilla(s), made in the bakery next door
Red bell pepper

*Nopal, or prickly pear, tastes like green beans would taste if they were a citrus fruit. (Lemony.)

P.S. Here's the CIA's World Factbook entry for the United States's Languages (2000 census):
English 82.1%
Spanish 10.7%
other Indo-European 3.8%
Asian and Pacific island 2.7%
other 0.7%
note: Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii

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