Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Spanglish (II): Hunting or fishing?

I was speaking with my roomate Bea sobre metodos de buscar chica/os—ways of looking for, being single and on the prowl. I noted that in English we could say that one is out hunting, “a la caza", or on the hunt (as some would have it). And Bea—who speaks quite well English and French in addition to Catalan and Spanish—suggested fishing. Another classic. Clearly related to hunting, though a decidedly different approach. I am not sure if I could be a fisherman, in that it would require me to stand around like a magnet, waiting for someone to ‘bite’. (I believe does happen to some people.)
On the other hand, if B sees fishing more like waiting for something to happen, as in just going about your life and hoping you bump into someone worth pursuing—well, that’s where the metaphor gets hazy. Bait doesn’t normally respond or ‘bite back’. But live bait does. So I’m undecided. I think live bait are for the big fish and the dead bait the smaller fish, right? Does it matter of the bait in the fishing metaphor is alive or dead?
Full of ideas, B went on and said that farming could work, in that you plant various seeds and see what grows. Or sprouts, whatever. According to other factors like outside elements (the atmosphere) and how the farmer 'treats' his crops (watering them? uh...getting them wet?!), in due time the seeds will mature, etc. Ok.
Now my question is, could we say farming in English? I mean I know we could but do we? This may seem obvious to some of you, in which case, please remind me.
Ah, the timeless topic of ligaring, or flirting/hooking up, terminology. The universality of certain essential metaphors, the prowl foremost among them. This being Spring in a romantic city, with a beach and cobblestoned alleyways and sunny plazas etc, there’s a springy prowly vibe. The weather has been top notch for at least a week now. The beaches are packed and there is a lot to see. En fin, people have been talking. I would say that this past Monday, a holiday here, achieved spectacle status. I was having trouble adapting to my new city, lifestyle, schedule, and general status until yesterday, when I went to the beach. I took long looks across the swath of sizzling human flesh on the Icaria beach and thought back on Saturday, when I’d done pretty much the same thing at the next beach (And it was good). Then I wondered: wait, is this normal? Wait--this is normal. This is the beach on the weekend. Summer is here. It's just that--stop making such a big deal about it!
But hold on a sec-- this shouldn't be a typical and easy part of high class urban living! There should be a price to pay! There is nothing like surveying the scene upon arriving at a crowded beach on a perfect day; but to do so after having lunch 'downtown' or even getting out of work or whatever approaches the ludicrous, and is certainly unfair. They should have to pay a special tax here-- you know, a little som'n som'n to keep the operation running smoothly and keep out the riff raff. But no! It's all free! They're going to find a way to mess it up, I'm sure they will, the fools!

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