Unfiltered Story #97617

| Unfiltered | October 15, 2017

My family and a couple friends are on vacation in Puerto Rico. No one in my family really thought this through and only one of our group of 7 can speak any Spanish. For the most part this isn’t too much of a problem as we’ve been trying to stay in the more touristy areas of the city. On this particular day, the one friend who can speak Spanish isn’t with the group. We’ve just finished having a late breakfast and are heading back to the car)

Father: I really want a coffee, the coffee in the restaurant was terrible.

Mom: I’d like one too but I don’t think we have any back at the hotel.

Me: Well there’s a (chain fast food place) right across the parking lot here, I’ll just pop in and grab some. You guys go ahead to the car and I’ll be right out.

(As it turns out, when I get into the fast food place, it’s packed! There’s a huge line and everyone looks native Puerto Rican. Even so, I decide to wait in line to get the coffee. As I’m waiting, I’m trying hard to look at the menu to figure out how I might be able to order coffee easily. Although I’m not fully white, it’s probably very obvious I’m not from around there. One of the signs appears to be advertising some sort of specialty coffee drink, with the words ‘café’ and ‘latte’ on it )

Me: (approaching the counter) Um, Dos latte? (Holding up two finger to signify two)

Cashier: (stares at me with a deer-in-headlights stare)

Me: (feeling really conspicuous) Café?

Cashier: Café??

Me: Coffee?

Cashier: Coffee?

Me: (giving up on any Spanish) I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. I just want two coffees. It says latte on your board there.

Cashier: Coffee?

Me: Yes. Yes coffee. Two coffee (holding up fingers again)

(She very hesitantly rings me out and I step aside and wait what I felt to be an inordinate about of time for the coffees. Finally a different worker comes up with a small bag and hands it to me, saying something in Spanish that I don’t understand at all.)

Me: Are these the coffees?

Worker: (sudden startled stare)

Me: Coffee?

Worker: Coffee.

Me: (looking in the bag to see that there is indeed two small cups of coffee. I thank her as best as I can in English and Spanish and make a quick exit)

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