This Conversation Is Going Down(stairs)

| Miami, FL, USA | Friendly | February 16, 2016

(We’ve just come through customs on a flight from Barcelona, so many of the people on the flight speak Spanish. I’m white, but speak Spanish fluently. All of this is in Spanish.)

Lady: “Can anyone help me?”

(The rest of the group by the monitors happens to not understand her.)

Me: “I speak Spanish. What do you need?”

Lady: “My flight is 0917 and I can’t find it. To Lima, Peru.”

Me: “It just lists 917 and it’s at D23.”

(We are at the monitors next to the escalator that would take her to D23.)

My Friend: *in English* “The tram’s here.”

(We start to get on the train and the lady follows, thinking we’re leading her to the gate when we need to get halfway across the airport. At this point, we’re separated by a large crowd, so I have to scream to be heard, still in Spanish.)

Me: *gesticulating wildly* “DOWNSTAIRS! DOWNSTAIRS!”

(The lady nods and gets off the train, but I have to wonder what everyone thought of the white girl screaming “Para abajo!” and flailing her arms for no apparent reason.)

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