Love of the Tongueless: Travelling Without Language

The Calle

You can’t tell by just this caption, but I am gesticulating wildly.

Faith waited nervously on the sun-dappled steps of Teatro Principal, on a busy pedestrian street in Guanajuato. She had a book in her hands and a pair of sunglasses, the afternoon sun blasting down upon the city. “I was worried you might not find your way,” she said.

My way involved flying through Houston, navigating Mexican customs, and finding a way to the centre of town from the airport. That I would need to attempt this feat completely in Spanish, despite my not speaking Spanish, was a matter of some concern. Would I get lost? Would I somehow end up stranded on the Mexican roadside, backpack straps anxiously twined around my fingers, as the exhaust of a dozen intercity buses choked my lungs? Would I simply end up wandering into the desert to be eaten alive by cactuses and supersnakes, or whatever it is that kills you in the desert?

But no, I arrived safely, thanked my driver, paid him his fare and waved him on his way. Faith shrugged. “Then I remembered that we’ve all been doing this constantly for the last few years.”

Continue reading