“(Hungarian…) the only tongue the devil respects”
Francisco Buarque de Hollanda
After sitting at Cafe Zenteno while I studied Hungarian, I wandered up to the Jardin to sit some more and I overheard three women talking, two of whom lived in New York City and two of whom held chihuahuas. One woman was complaining about her San Miguel landlady who seemed to have done absolutely nothing, which had stirred this woman’s wrath, and so she was plotting her revenge, which as the owner of a New York Co-op, might likely involve a lawyer and withholding her rent payment. One of the other women also owned a New York co-op and sympathized completely and then the conversation turned to brushing one’s dog’s teeth, which is extremely important with chihuahuas because – according to one of the owners – they have lousy teeth (her little one had lost all the teeth on one side of its mouth), and it seems they (chihuahuas) only accept manual brushing of their teeth if you start them while they’re young. I heard no recommendations for either a toothpaste or a toothbrush, so cannot pass that information along.
Hungarian is proving challenging not only for the reasons most everyone thinks it challenging, but because of letter combinations that don’t represent similar English words. For example, “is” is not the state-of-being verb but the conjunction “also” while “a” is not an indefinite article but the definite article “the”. There’s been far less interchange between Hungarian and English than between the Romance languages and English, so there’s far more vocabulary for me to learn and few cognates, whether false or true. When I try to remember a Hungarian word, often it’s the Spanish word that comes to mind first – if one comes to mind – as that’s the most recent language I’ve struggled with. I read somewhere that being multilingual is good for the brain, that those who speak multiple languages, because they’re always having to choose their words, are exercising their brains more. No, I didn’t read that on the Hungarian textbook cover.
Today’s featured photo is an example of things one passes everyday without seeing. It’s above the door pictured below, which I’ve passed perhaps 200 times on my way to and from the supermarket. It’s the entry to what was once a campground, now a vacant lot guarded by some mellow dogs. The lot is owned by a gentleman whose adult son (not the one who was the subject of a Dateline show) was kidnapped perhaps 20 years ago and held for ransom and never returned.
Por Una Cabeza (By A Head)
The song’s title refers to the margin of victory in a horse race.