By this time you are probs already living la vida loca in SA, aka my hometown of San Antonio. In a few short hours you will be on the East Side and I won’t lie…I am worried. Sure we have kick ass Mexican food, Six Flags, Sea World, the Riverwalk (ps– don’t believe people when they tell you there’s alligators in there…there aren’t), a WHOLE WEEK in April devoted to partying appropriately named Fiesta and hello, the Alamo. Which SPOILER ALERT, it smells like pee. So do yourself a favor and bypass that little bit of Texas history.
With all that awesomeness, why should I be worried?? Well, San Antonio, despite all it’s abundance of tourism possibilities can be a bit rough in some places. And nothing amuses the locals more than messing with a tourist…especially a guero, aka a white dude who’s a tourist. Mainly, it’s all harmless fun. Not telling you what you are eating until you have already eaten it. Or acting like they don’t speak English when in fact they do and are not only listening to your convos but also making fun of them in Spanish. But sometimes, well, sometimes things can get a bit rough. So, as a native San Antonian, I feel it’s my duty to put together this little guide to help you navigate the town of about 3.5 million people.
Lengua– beef tongue. yes, the actual tongue of a cow. which to be honest is actually pretty damn good when paired with some onions and rolled up in a corn tortilla. but it can be shocking when you think you are eating brisket and BAM someone says, by the by, that’s tongue, yo.
Tripas– stomach lining. yup. stomach lining of animals. usually boiled or grilled depending on the region of the peeps cooking it but either way, yuck. srsly. hardly anyone can make it WITHOUT it being rubbery and that’s just nasty. and it also stinks. a lot.
Menudo– speaking of stink…this stuff STINKS. BAD. it’s the stomach of the cow mixed with a bunch of random stuff and made into a soup. My mom cooked it EVERY Sunday in our house. And EVERY Sunday, I stunk all day. NO BUENO.
Barbacoa– cow’s head. Cooked. I won’t lie. This shizz is GOOD. If you can get past the fact that you are eating cow’s head. Cooked.
Tejano. It’s a must. No one can deny a good accordion. NO ONE. Also, everyone in SA is either in or knows a cousin who is in a Mariachi band. So, if you are ever at a loss for conversation, ask anyone, “Wait, isn’t your cousin in a Mariachi band?” and boom, conversation revived.
There is only one thing you need to know. Never, and I mean NEVER, EVER say you like the Lakers. EVER. Or anything remotely similar to liking the Lakers. Or anything purple or gold for that matter. If you do, well, good luck.
I am sure that you probs know the basic cuss words in Spanish but if you don’t, here’s a few to listen for. If you hear any of the following directed your way, especially linked together with the word pinche guero, then run. Just run away.
baboso, cabron, hijo de puta, beso mi culo, chinga usted, pendejo….and the list goes on and on…but those are the most popular. or at least they were in my family.
And, finally, here are three phrases that you can’t go wrong with knowing and using:
Donde esta el bano? (dohn-day ays-tah el bahn-yoh)
Where is the bathroom?
Dos mas cervezas por favor. (dohs sehr-beh-sahs, pohr fah-bohr)
Two more beers, please.
Ayúdeme que he sido apuñalado! (ah-yoo-dah meh, keh he see-tho, ah-poo-na-la-tho)
Help me, I’ve been stabbed.
Stick to this guide and everything should be cream cheese.
Vaya con Dios,