This morning I was in the office at the front desk just minding my own business when two gentlemen came in. They were not customers... but looking for information on a retratos pa pasaporte. They did not speak English.
I stood for a while dumbfounded, trying to understand with hand motions and pointing in every direction I could to figure out what in the world they were trying to ask me.
I suddenly had a fantastic idea. I handed the older gentleman a piece of paper and a pen as the younger one chuckled at my craziness. He wrote down the words "retratos pa pasaporte". So, I jumped on the internet and looked up those words on the first spanish english dictionary I could find. It was passport picture. Whew.
So, I looked up courthouse and recorders office - which had no direct translation of course... and attempted to tell him he had to go there.
Then, I called the recorder's office...thinking that someone there surely would speak spanish and be able to explain to them what they can do. None. She looked all over at the auditors office, the assessors office, the clerks office... not one spanish speaking person. All the while these sweet men waited while I called the city to solve their problem.
Finally, the recorder said she can call a translator to see if they can get someone there, and I resorted to writing down the address of the courthouse, pointed to the end of town and said it was a "brick" building on the left hand side of the street...not the police station but the next one.
I know he didn't understand a word I said....but I patted his back, smiled brilliantly and wished them luck as they laughed all the way down the street.
Note to self: Didn't you always want to learn spanish?