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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Dumb Stuff I Actually Said to My Homestay Family

Sometimes you just have to get the point across.

  • Referring to my sinuses as “the hallways of my face”
  • Asking if the malfunctioning lightbulb “was in a bad mood”
  • Politely asking a couple in the family “how they first slept together”*
  • Trying to convey that I was feeling full, and instead implying I was in, like, serious pain
  • Asking my host sister how long it took her “to push the babies down” (while helpfully miming labor pains)
  • Explaining that my belly hurt “underneath” my stomach, which apparently implies butt cramps
  • In the same conversation, accidentally stating that my mother was in labor with me for “thirty-two days”
  • Earnestly nodding when my host sister (jokingly) forbade me to leave the house
  • Asking if I could “treat” the door (as in, medically)

… And don’t even get me started about that “media naranja” expression. (It does not, in fact, refer to your orange sock. Do not ask your host family if it does. No matter how patient or loving they are, they will laugh for at least five minutes, and promptly grab their phones to relay the joke to the neighbors.)

*I only meant to ask about how they first MET each other. For the record.