Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Soy Un Ladron

My dad grew up without any Spanish language skills to speak of. at some point, he was in Puerto Rico, he told us, and jaywalked across the street. A police officer came up to him, and started yelling at him in Spanish. My dad looked at the officer, and saying the only Spanish sentence he ever heard, he said Soy un Ladron (I am a thief), not knowing what it meant.

The story has become part of family lore, and whenever we someone mentions the words Soy un Ladron, the whole family breaks down in tears.

We need to remind ourselves never to say this again in a Spanish speaking country. The Puerto Rican police did not take lightly to his answer. We are not sure or if they arrested him for making fun of them or because they really thought he was a thief, but they threw him in jail and he has been there ever since. We have not been permitted to speak with him.

I told you that story so I could tell you this story.

Last night, at my Spanish language class which I am taking to try and get my dad out of jail, the teacher walked into the room to say hello to the group. He clowned around for a minute, stepped out of the room, and then walked back in. I want to tell you a story to explain the importance of learning Spanish. When I was in Puerto Rico, my friend was jaywalking, and a police officer stopped him. The officer was yelling at my friend, who just looked at the officer, and then said Soy un Ladron, and ended up in jail.

The whole incident left me dumbfounded, and leaves three possibilities.

A) This story happened to both my dad and the Spanish teacher's friend. I find this unlikely that two people would look at a cop blankly and give the same Soy un Ladron sentence.

2) This story happened to neither of them, and is just urban legend. Then, of course, why is dad in jail in Puerto Rico?

C) This story happened to my dad, and turned into an urban legend afterwards.

Anyone want to vote?


Blogger StepIma said...


12:21 PM  

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