Before we headed on our South American adventure, I tried to brush up on my Spanish skills. To that end, I found a free podcast on itunes for Coffee Break Spanish by the Radio Lingua Network. To my surprise, after a fun introductory song, Mark and Kara began the lesson with thick Scottish accents. It is true, I learned how to say "I am from Scotland" in Spanish, but they also address their US base with their lessons.
When I reached the Lima airport, I realized my Spanish was not as good as I thought it was. While we were only in Lima for a layover, we had to pass through security before we could reach our gate. After my bag went through the conveyor belt, I was stumped when they kept asking me if I had a "sombrilla" in my bag. This word was not covered by my Coffee Break lessons.
The security guards started making several gestures so as to explain what a sombrilla was, but apparently there is no good universal hand signal for an umbrella. Eventually after 10 minutes or so, I figured it out, and let the security officer know, that yes, I had an umbrella in my bag. They took my word for it, and let me move on toward the gate. I started to question whether the security in the airports in South America were as strict as North America, I mean not only did they take my word for it when I clearly didn't understand the question, but our shoes stayed on our feet and no liquids were confiscated - we almost felt human when we traveled. But then, I saw this. . .
Quite the collection!