I have to say it is so good to be back in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. New York City sure has a lot to offer, but I guess my heart never really left NC. Still, I’m going to miss Central Park, all those great restaurants and bars, great LGBT scene, Broadway... However, what I’m not going to miss is the fast pace of life, the crowds and the noise!
I guess this would be a good time to introduce myself. My name is Hazel Delacruz. I used to live in the area but moved to New York several years ago. Recently, I was sharing with a friend how much I missed Carrboro and wanted to find a writing gig back in NC. She said that I should talk to Wendy and Bridget at Cameron’s since it is such a wonderful store and she thought I would have a blast writing for them. You know what, I think she’s going to be right. The owners are very cool. They told me I can write about whatever I want, that I don’t even have to write about the store. Now that’s a lot a freedom and trust. Hopefully I don’t abuse it.
So in the spirit of writing about whatever I want, I have to tell you about some hilarious thing that happen to me just the other day. I am in the process of learning Spanish. So a good friend of mine knowing this, sends me a book called “Asi como la pierdes”, which is the Spanish translation of Junot Diáz “This is How You Lose Her”. So silly me, not knowing anything about this writer, thought she sent me some cheesy Spanish romance novel and left it on my side table for months. When I finally started reading the book, I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. His writing style is vibrant, gutsy, original. His poignant stories are woven with the immigrant experience and delve into gritty life situations and relationships.
One more thing, Mr. Diaz uses very colorful language, to say the least. The conversations use a mixture of English and Spanish, peppered with lots of swear words. Knowing this, I should have been more careful. You see I love to hang out in coffee shops, order a latte, open a Spanish book and smartphone, then when needed speak Spanish words into my phone and have the English translation read back to me. Knowing about this author, I've been turning off volume and just reading the translated text. Plus, most of time when the app detects profane language it doesn’t translate it. For example, the book has “entonces cállate la boca, pendejo” which translates to “then shut your mouth, dumbass. Google translate doesn't translate it, it just writes p******. Now imagine my surprise when I innocently said “cabrón” into my phone and it replied “motherf**ker" very, very loudly. People stopped talking and looked my way. Then I really spazzed out. I tapped the app repeatedly trying to close it but instead caused my phone to shout the same obscenity over and over again, really loudly. Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed my phone and shoved it under me and sat back down until I could regain my composure.
Very embarrassing. However, I personally believe that in every hardship, there is a lesson to learn. And the lesson here is to remember that technology can be used both for good and for evil. So be careful with how you use it. And remember to keep the volume on your smartphone down!
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