In other words, my friend’s Spanish is just good enough that people are unaware that she occasionally misses the meaning of things.
It’s really not that hard to do. To become a proper trampa, one must do the following:
1) Nod. Widen eyes. Gesticulate grandly.
2) During pauses, say, “Si,” or better yet, “Si si si.”
3) If you’re wishing to try intermediate trampa, considering throwing in the occasional, “Claro.”
4) Laugh when they laugh. Although be advised that they may be laughing at you.
I will admit that I am a trampa. Every single day is an exercise in bluffing my way through a barrage of rapid, mumbly Andalucian-style Spanish.
At the fish stand, I wave my hands and explain, “Por Supuesto!” when the fishmonger asks me if I will return tomorrow. “Of course!”
It’s possible he asked me if I was going on a fishing boat with him tomorrow. It could be. Everyday is an adventure for la trampa.
My misunderstandings and blanket agreements have resulted in me buying bags of prickly pears, having people leave their children at my house for unspecified amounts of time, and large tumblers of liquor being placed in my hand. I’m not sure how I got here, and I’m not sure what’s next.
I’ll admit being la trampa is not my ideal state. There’s the strong chance of being perceived as an idiot. You must depend on others to set up your telephone or communicate with teachers.
Yet, as with all things, being a trampa is also a gift. You discover the bare kindness of those who communicate with you anyway. The people who draw, or gesticulate, or make sound effects to get their point across.
You are swept along into trampa-related adventures—touring a bullring, or drinking homemade vinegar in somebody’s basement bodega.
All because you are there, and you smile, and you say “si.“