Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Sopapillas…doesn’t every Latino know what these are?  My recent trip to Mexico gave me the answer…absolutely not!  It was clear as day to me when our plate of “sopapillas” was placed in front of us…not the big, fluffy pillow of fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar that I have come to expect but rather, a plate of flat, over fried, cut up flour tortillas with too much sugar (too much sugar?..yes that is possible!) and grease was presented instead.  Really?  How was it possible that the cook had no idea what a sopapilla was??  We described them (so we thought) to a “T.”

So the story goes…

Over the past year(s) I have lost track of how many times what I have said, done and expressed has been “lost in translation.”  And, if I took the time to really think about it, I am sure I would discover a lifetime of “lost in translation” moments.  They are those moments that hit you up-side the head when you least expect it.  The times when someone “calls you out” on something that you supposedly said or did and you are so taken aback by their interpretation that your first and only response is WTF??  And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t say they also include those moments when I have mis-translated something that someone said or did to me.  I know I am guilty of this, probably (and thankfully) more than I know.  I can recall times over the years when I haven’t spoken to friends (and likewise) because I (or they) were so angry and hurt by my interpretation of what they said or did and then later come to realize I had misinterpreted the entire conversation or situation. 

It is at those times, when I realize that I have been misinterpreted, or I have misinterpreted something, that I find comfort in knowing that friends are friends, the ones who are with you through good times and bad times.  The ones who tell you… you have spinach in your teeth, or you have bad breath, or GOD, I can not believe you just said/did that..they forgive, they move on, they accept you for who you are.  You love them, they love you.  I take comfort in that because for the most part, most of us can count those friends on one hand and still have fingers left over.  I know personally I have two fingers left over when I count.  In our world of instant gratification…we get hundreds of birthday wishes on facebook, we can put up a post of how we are feeling and get a ton of “you go girl” or “I love you” or “I am there for you” notes but when it all comes down to it, it really is those friends who don’t care what you said, what they said, what people think of this or that.  They are the ones who don’t translate.  They take what you say, what you feel and help you through it by just being themselves.  They are the friends who live close by and give you hugs when you need them.  They are the friends who live thousands of miles away who are there to accept your texts and emails at all hours of the night.  And, they are those friends who you feel a connection to, who you think about many times but for some reason aren’t a part of your daily life but you know you can turn to them if you need to and they will be there. 
So, back to the point…lost in translation…keep an open mind.  Walk a mile in their shoes.  Or, at a minimum, if you don’t understand, rub their feet after the mile they have just walked.  They are friends, they are our brothers and sisters all seeking the same happiness.  Don’t let their message get lost in translation. 

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