Wicked Spanish for the Traveler

Overview

From the sneakily successful travel series with over 1 million copies in print, Wicked Spanish (over 250,000 copies in print) is the devilishly funny pocket-sized guide to language and culture in the land of manana.

From managing epic taxi rides (The Old Man and the Chevy) to Perfecting the Haggle to Tipping the Police, Wicked Spanish anticipates and prepares norteamericanos...

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Overview

From the sneakily successful travel series with over 1 million copies in print, Wicked Spanish (over 250,000 copies in print) is the devilishly funny pocket-sized guide to language and culture in the land of manana.

From managing epic taxi rides (The Old Man and the Chevy) to Perfecting the Haggle to Tipping the Police, Wicked Spanish anticipates and prepares norteamericanos for a wide range of exotic Latin customs and conditions-also know as que sera, sera.

Explain to your innkeeper that you'd rather have private accommodations: Pero you prefiero un cuarto sin escorpiones. ("But I'd prefer a room without scorpions."). Politely ask your waiter what you're eating: QuS hace immovil dentro del mole? (What lies motionless under the spicy chocolate sauce?). And Mi abuelo perteneci. a un sindicato obrero ("My grandfather belonged to a labor union") may be just the ticket for kidnap victims of revolutionaries.

Once acclimated, you'll make clever cockfight conversation, understand Zapotec Basketball, and even enjoy a cold cerveza with your wife in a friendly men's bar: No la mires. No le hables. No la toques. ("Do not stare at her. Do not address her. Do not touch her."). Above all, you'll learn the real meaning of Vaya con Dios.

First came Wicked French and Wicked Italian, the irreverent little bestselling phrasebooks with over 135,000 copies in print. Now in a new companion volume to help gringos celebrate--or survive--Mexico and Latin America, Howard Tomb presents the pocket-sized guide to language and culture in the land of manana. Illustrations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780894808616
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1991
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 784,474
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.02 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Tomb is the author of the Wicked Travel books. He also writes for the Sunday Travel Section of the New York Times.

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Read an Excerpt

THE OLD MAN AND THE CHEVY

The manana concept is a paradox of Hispanic culture. While the clerks and waiters of an entire nation may appear to be in a collective coma, the taxi drivers seem to have Benzedrine in their blood.

The antiquity of many taxis only adds to the terror of high-speed rides. But before you resort to violence or leap from the vehicle, try a little verbal persuasion.

This car is amazing.
Este carro es increíble.

I never knew chicken wire had so many uses.
Yo no sabía que la tela metálica tenía tantos usos.

When did the brakes go out?
¿Cuándo se fueron los frenos?

In the Eisenhower years?
¿En la época de Carranza?

Please give us helmets/blindfolds.
Por favor dénos cascos/unas vendas para los ojos.

Look, if you don't slow down, I won't pay you.
Mire, si no reduce la velocidad, no le voy a pagar.

That's much better, thanks.
Mucho mejor, gracias.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

  • Bienvenudo…5
GETTING AROUND
  • The Old Man and the Chevy…6
  • Disclaimer of Wickedness…7
  • Stop Bus!…8
  • Prayer of the Lost Luggage…9
  • Addressing the Mule…10
  • Customs Tips…11
  • Tipping Policemen…12
  • Pedestrian Advisory…14
  • Assorted Road Signs…15

DESTINATIONS
  • Surviving the Hotel…16
  • When in Ruins…18
  • Understanding Zapotec Basketball…19
  • Confession…20
  • Death Takes a Holiday…21
  • Finding the Museum…22
  • Beach Blanket Lingo…24
  • Attention Third-World Shoppers…25

SUSTENANCE
  • Restaurant Survival Techniques…26
  • Look out for "Chicken of the Trees"…28
  • Guide to Painless Dining…30
  • Prayer of the Large Intestine…31
  • The Men-Only Bar…32
  • For Women Only: Coin-A-Curse…33
  • Drinking to Kill the Critters Within…34
  • Mexican Drinks of Death…35
  • Moctezuma's Medical Emergency…36
  • Eat and Run…37

DAILY LIFE
  • Perfecting the Haggle…38
  • Post Waste…40
  • Essential Expletives…41
  • El Banco de Quixote…42
  • Banishing the Miniature Huckster…44
  • Reporting Thefts…46

CULTURE
  • The Eternal Siesta…48
  • Manana Counterattack…49
  • El Business Meeting…50
  • La Revolution…52
  • Handy Guide to Latin Revolutionaries…53
  • Love in the Time of Severe Abdominal Cramps…54
  • Cockfights…56
  • Bullfights…57
  • Mariachi at a Distance…58

THE MODEL GUEST
  • The Polite Guest's Guide to EntrÈe Identification…59
  • Natives at Home…60
  • The Inevitable Thank-You Note…62

HELP
  • Gringo-matic™ Emergency Dictionary…63
  • Gringo-matic™Quick Reference…64
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