I managed another “open mouth, speak Spanish, insert foot” moment when we were in the cab with Teré and Miguel coming home from the casino Monday night. It was a little chilly outside (probably around 10C/50F… OK, everything is relative). Our four bodies, in addition to the driver’s, in the small taxi caused all the windows to fog up. I said to Teré, in Spanish, that the windows were steaming up because she was hot. Well, I thought that’s what I said.
It turns out a literal translation of the English, “You are hot,” into the Spanish “Tú eres caliente,” doesn’t have quite the same meaning. The cab driver burst out laughing. Teré looked perplexed and suggested that perhaps I didn’t really mean what I said. She went on to explain that telling someone they are caliente is like saying they are easy; it’s more closely related to our expression “hot to trot.” I think it’s time to create a little Spanish booklet of things Jerry and I should never say again.