|You try explaining what this is.|
Although I have faced many challenges in Colombia, few have been as stifling as trying to explain what a Leprechaun is to a group of Spanish-speaking fourth graders.
As a visual aid for my explanation, I had drawn a crude picture of what I hoped resembled the mythical Irish creature.
I tried to explain in English, speaking slowly, “A Lep-re-chaun is a… mag-ic-al lit-tle man. He likes to hide gold at the end of rain-bows.”
My students looked at me like I was speaking dolphin.
I paused to regroup my thoughts. Back home, I had never really thought about what a Leprechaun actually was—all I knew was children seemed to always be after their Lucky Charms.
I gestured to a pitiful picture of a rainbow and pot o’ gold I had scribbled on the board.
“The mag-ic-al man, the Lep-re-chaun, hides his gold at the end of rain-bows.”
“Oro!” one of my students yelled.
“Yes!” I practically cried, “Oro is gold. Very good.”
|The Irish pub called Irish Pub.|
After work I headed north to meet some of my gringo friends to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at an Irish Pub called Irish Pub.
Let’s just say originality in naming restaurants isn’t one of Colombia’s fortes. I kid you not—there is a buffalo wing restaurant called Buffalo Wings in Bogotá.
At any rate, since no one seemed to know what St. Patrick’s Day was, I expected the pub to be more or less empty. Much to my dismay, when I arrived at Irish Pub, there was a massive line stretching well out the door. Luckily, my friend Lynn had arrived earlier and was close to the front.
I joined her in line and took in the debauchery-filled scene. Drunken Colombians, adorned in green shirts and top hats, were everywhere. They sat at tables sipping green beer and blabbering in unintelligible Spanish.
|A borracho Colombian.|
I heard one guy yell, “¡Estoy borracho!” (I am drunk!)
I was surprised to see such a crowd and couldn’t help but feel like they had stolen our holiday—which we stole from Ireland—but that’s beside the point. I just really wanted some green beer.
After my friend Zach joined us, we finally made it to the front of the line and got a table inside the pub. Walking through the crowded bar, I heard a swirl of drunken English-Spanish conversations. I passed a few Americans flirting with Colombian girls speaking with broken English accents.
|The gringos at Irish Pub!|
We sat down and ordered a pitcher of the green beer. As we were engulfed by increasingly drunken chatter, I tried to guess who was American and who was not—it’s often hard to tell in the rich areas of Bogotá.
A few pitchers and one Irish car bomb later, it was time to go.
Headed back home with a healthy buzz, I thought to myself, The niños better behave tomorrow. Teacher Mike is going to be muy enguayabado.
And indeed he was.