How good is my Spanish these days? Well, here’s how good it is.
I was sitting on a bar stool, waiting for Doug, lip-reading the paper (Diario), and drinking a licuado, when a man came up behind me and asked the lady behind the bar for ‘el papel’. Guiltily, I closed the newspaper and pushed it toward him.
He looked at it, and me, a little sadly I thought, then at her. She handed him a roll of toilet paper and he went into the men’s room.
A few seconds passed while I worked out what had transpired, then I began to chuckle. The bartender and the other customer exchanged a discreet few quiet words. I held up the Diario and said, in Spanish something like “i ingles, esta se llama el papel”. Only then did they begin to laugh.
Later, another man came up to me. He told me I had a voice like Vicky Carr. I asked ‘is Vicky Carr young and beautiful?” (no subjunctive for me). No, he said, she is like us. But he liked her because she had a beautiful voice and she sings English and Spanish both without an accent.
Best I can say for myself is that I laugh without an accent.