Catch a Wave / Atrapa una Ola

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

MONDAY, I MENTIONED briefly our surfer-dude friend, Alexander. Not only is he a great surfer, but he’s charming, kind, warm, bright, and witty (despite the fact that he inherited his father, Tynan’s, sense of humor). Alexander is now 19. We described him the same way when he was 12 — except that he wasn’t yet surfing. Alexander is someone who gives me hope for the future. And, more importantly, joy in the present. And I need both.

Tynan grew up in Chesterfield, England, where they speak a form of English difficult for even other English people to understand. Elena is from Bilbao in the north of Spain. So, although Spanish is the first language of their two kids, they grew up speaking both languages.

One morning a few years ago, Tynan had free time one morning so walked with Alexander to school, a bilingual school here in town. When they reached a group of Alexander’s friends, Tynan asked him to suggest a shortcut home. After Tynan left, he looked back and could tell he was being talked about. That evening, he asked Alexander what his friends had said. Alexander explained, “They asked if you were my dad and when I said you were, they said they thought you were English. I told them you were and they asked, ‘But what language was he speaking?’”


MENCIONÉ BREVEMENTE EL lunes nuestro amigo surfista, Alexander. No solo es un gran surfista, sino que es encantador, amable, cálido, brillante, e ingenioso (a pesar de que heredó el sentido del humor de su padre, Tynan). Alexander ahora tiene 19 años. Lo describimos de la misma manera cuando tenía 12 años, excepto que todavía no estaba surfeando. Alexander es alguien que me da esperanza para el futuro. Y, lo que es más importante, alegría en el presente. Y necesito ambos.

Tynan creció en Chesterfield, Inglaterra, donde hablan una forma de inglés difícil de entender incluso para otros ingleses. Elena es de Bilbao en el norte de España. Entonces, aunque el español es el primer idioma de sus dos hijos, crecieron hablando ambos idiomas.

Una mañana, hace unos años, Tynan caminó con Alexander a la escuela secudaria, una escuela bilingüe aquí en la ciudad. Cuando llegaron a un grupo de amigos de Alexander, Tynan le pidió que sugiriera un atajo a casa. Después de que Tynan se fue, miró hacia atrás y se dio cuenta de que se estaba hablando de él. Esa noche, le preguntó a Alexander qué habían dicho sus amigos. Alexander explicó: “Preguntaron si tú eras mi papá y cuando dije que sí, dijeron que pensaban que eras inglés. Les dije que eras y me preguntaron: ‘¿Pero qué idioma estaba hablando?’”


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

22 thoughts on “Catch a Wave / Atrapa una Ola”

    1. David,
      I wish I had been brave enough to learn when I was younger. Not something I’d risk now, so I’ll just admire and take pix.

  1. Surfers are a very unique community in all the best possible ways. We live in one here on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. Since you are a good swimmer, Mitchell, this is perfect timing for you to take up this sport!! You could have your own personal instructor I am sure in Alexander. Never too old my friend…… (he said shivering at the thought of it!!)

    1. Jim,
      Sciatica, bursitis, and I bruise easily. I was never really surfer material. But I love it.

  2. Nothing better than to watch a wave being conquered.
    The GIF works perfectly I might add.
    While watching the beginning episode of Happy Valley recently , I crossed my fingers hoping the main actor would enunciate the words perfectly ~ no luck ~ to add insult to injury the person began speaking with a mouthful of food ~ sad face.
    I’ve been told that my accent is difficult to recognize/understand too.
    Accents make the world go round!

    1. Ron,
      We watch all shows (even US productions) with English subtitles. It saves me so much translation time (and pauses) for SG!

      1. David,
        That’s why surfing music is so popular—it’s the beautifully rounded tones.

    1. Ann Marie,
      Alexander is also very popular. I always wonder what it’s like to be a young, handsome, athletic, straight guy. He’s got none of the attitude that I’d expect to go with that.

    1. Steve,
      Very entertaining. Regional Spanish ones, ditto. Well, let’s think back to those regional American (US of America) ones! SG and I haven’t always understood each other. Oh, and North and South…

  3. Oooh, the seals have gotten a lot prettier! I love all kinds of accents, but when I watch my Sherlock Holmes dvds (both the Benjamin Cumberbatch and the Jeremy Brett series) I need subtitles. I kid you not 🙂 Back in the day when I had friends, I knew a married couple who were a lot of fun. He was English with a bit of a twinkle in his eye and she was a hippy-type, nose ringed , tie dyed, waist length haired, charmer from Alabama! I don’t know how they communicated but their love was palatable. I haven’t thought of them in years. Thanks Scoot!

    1. Deedles,
      We always have subtitles on. It started for SG with British dialects. I got so tired of pausing and restarting. But we find it useful for everything! Glad to help bring back a sweet memory!

    1. Kirk,
      The water never gets comfortably warm here. Most surfers wear wetsuits year round. (Although in spring and summer you can catch them quickly stripping don when they get out of the water.)

  4. Long long long time ago in a land far away… (Huntington Beach) I used to suf but not like your friend I body surfed. So much fun and I miss it.

    1. Parsnip,
      I grew up body surfing and loved it… and no fear of it. Never graduated to board surfing.

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