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Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

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TX
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Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

The thread on public banos started me thinking about various faux pas that we, as visitors, might have committed while in PV. Maybe if we share some of them with each other, we'll help one another to avoid doing the same things!

My hubby and I know only basic Spanish phrases. Our own faults, to be sure. (We keep *intending* to learn; we actually have several courses to complete at home -- it's just finding the time to actually DO them that's the problem!) Anyway, on our last trip we did one of the daytime snorkeling/booze cruises to Las Animas, not giving any thought to the fact that the predominant language spoken by *everyone* on the boat would be Spanish. There was a sort of "master of ceremonies" who advised the passengers via microphone/loudspeaker of everything that was taking place or going to take place - all in Spanish. Again, it was our own fault for not speaking the language, so please don't think I'm blaming the crew or any of the passengers for what transpired.

Apparently, the boat's announcer told everyone that the seats they were in were theirs for the duration of the trip. Everyone was to find the same seat they rode in on, when we left Las Animas in return to the marina. Since we didn't understand this, we sat in somebody else's seat on the return. The woman spoke to us in Spanish, and I understood the gist of what she was saying -- she was asking us to move. As it was a table for 4, and there were only 2 of us, I assumed she was asking if her family could sit there so they could all be together. No problem. We moved back a few seats to a table for 2. We hadn't been there long when a man and his wife approached us, again asking us to move. The man was a bit more forceful than the previous woman had been, and well, this time I was annoyed and at first just tried to ignore the couple. After all, these were OUR SEATS! (Ha! Or so I thought!) After several minutes in which I sat and seethed, all the while the man trying to clue my husband in that we were in THEIR seats, one of the crew members came over and in his best English, told us what we needed to know. "The captain already announced that you are to sit in the same seats you had originally." I'm pretty sure my face turned several different shades of red, as we slid sheepishly from the seats belonging to the other couple and found another spot to sit for the duration of the trip back to the marina.

So ... our PV faux pas was not knowing enough of the language to be able to follow captain's orders!

How about your "big mistake"? ;-)

SoCal
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1. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

A couple of trips ago my wife had a pretty funny language faux pas. We went to the beach mariscos shack in front of the condo to get fish on a stick to go. The young guys English was worse than our Spanish so she tried to explain in Spanish we wanted to take it to our condo and pointed to the balcony, to which he loudly replied "Yo!". We figured out she had asked for him to have an appointment with her at the condo. As I giggled on the way back with our dinner and told her "I like to watch". The guy at the front desk couldn't figure out why we were laughing so hard that we were crying.

Long Island, New...
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2. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

My wife speaks fluent spanish, but my story is about friends who were in PV with us. My friend asked an activity staff member, "If a young woman is called a senorita, what is a young man called?" With a straight face, he responded, that a young man is called a "senorito". So, he used that term the next day with a young staff member, only to be told that that meant he was a "gay man". My friend was very embarrassed to say the least!

Riviera Nayarit...
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3. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

"Senorito"; I'm going to have to remember that one!

Until fairly recently, I thought that the porters in the airport were paid by the airport. If I used a porter, I would tip them, but on the "modest" side. When I became a regular poster on the TA, I learned that they don't receive any salary from the airport and the only money they receive is from tips. Needless to say, I tip the porters more generously now.

Long Island, New...
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4. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

The same goes for the kids and sometimes adults who bag your groceries at the Mega, Soriano, and WalMart. They work for tips only.

What about the gasoline attendants, do they work only for tips??

Thanks.

Puerto Vallarta
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5. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

I could write a book :)

Puerto Vallarta...
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6. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

Excert for Gil Gevins' story, "How I fired my Boss"

"The week before, at a party hosted by an important government official, I had verbally stumbled with even greater abandon.

The gracious host had taken me aside and inquired how I liked Puerto Vallarta.

"I love Puerto Vallarta," I replied sincerely.

"And what do you like most about Vallarta?" my host asked.

"The sun, the people, and the..."

At this point I had intended to say how much I loved the seafood (mariscos). But I became confused and substituted unwittingly the word "maricones," a sadly uncomplimentary term for gay men.

".. I love the gay men!" I told my startled host.

"They are delicious. The best I ever tasted. And so inexpensive!" I concluded, beaming with enthusiasm.

My host nodded somberly, turned and walked away. "

Buffalo, New York
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7. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

Thanks JR for a great story - guess I will pay real attention tonight in Spanish class.

Great Neck, NY
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8. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

Some English speaking people with a small knowledge of Spanish can mix up the words caliente and calor - both mean hot but in different ways - if you try out your Spanish and say, "Mucho caliente" instead of "Mucho calor", you would be saying that you are very hot, as in sexy hot, not weather hot!

calgary
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9. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

I don't think you have that quite right. Caliente is an adjective meaning hot, as in temperature. It is also used as a slang term for attractive, just as the English word hot is. Calor is a noun, meaning heat.

Puerto Vallarta...
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10. Re: Puerto Vallarta Faux Pas?

... and Picante means 'spicy' hot.