Travel Oops: “Tenemos un Problema con el Baño” (We Have a Problem with the Bathroom)

© Edward Schuck

My sister Suzie and I © Edward Schuck 1981

Becoming fluent in Spanish was an important goal of mine in seventh grade at Santa Barbara Junior High in 1981. Already, I knew that I wanted to travel.

Every Sunday when my dad brought in the Los Angeles Times and placed it on our kitchen table, I rifled through for the travel section, which was huge. I scanned all the ads and articles as well as filled out every form, requesting brochures and tourist materials. Many of the countries to which I wanted to travel were Spanish-speaking nations.

© Dhscommtech

© Dhscommtech

Consequently, to learn Spanish, I dutifully conjugated verbs, poured through my textbook and practiced the book’s basic dialog scenarios at home. Literally translated into English (only in present tense), the riveting stories went something like this:

Carmen: Hello, Juan.

Juan: Hello, Carmen.

Carmen: I go to the shoe store.

Juan: I go to the shoe store, also.

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