Oscar is the name of my driver, that I acquired after my terrifying walk in the woods, via my maybe new friend, Jessica. Having a driver sounds pretentious, but I promise it isn’t. I just texted him and said I wanted to run some errands, we set up a time, and he picked me up in his totally not pretentious Nissan and I met him for the first time.
Jessica had told me that he spoke English, so that was one of the first things I asked him as we’re conversing in Spanish. He said no, he only knows the English words for food but he was totally lying maybe because he said some other stuff in English too. What’s nice about Oscar is, he is so chill, that when he speaks to me in Spanish, it is slow enough and with reasonable enough words that my brain forgets it’s Spanish and feels like we’re talking in my first language. And that is cool. You know what else is cool?
A few minutes into our drive he asked me if I wanted to listen to some music. I said sure, and expected him to just turn on the radio and we would listen to music in Español, thus continuing our educational and confidence-in-my-second-language building journey. When he pushed a button on his stereo, my ears were met not with Spanish, but with Kanye West and Jay-Z. If you know me well, then you know that I was raised in the county of the hood, which makes me a little hood by default, which makes me love rap music*. Not all of it. But some of it, if it is dope and has clever lyrics (Ludacris, Nelly, and Lil’ Wayne are my favorites.) So this musical selection had me overjoyed, but I had to tone down my usual reaction when a song or artist I love comes on the radio, which typically involves my lips involuntarily go into a thug face at the very least, because I was with a nearly stranger.
He dropped me off at Auto Mercado, which is the nicest grocery store they have here, and a place where I would only go to shop for things I couldn’t find elsewhere, as well as meat. I got my items (including Laughing Cow! yes!), got back in the car, and we were off to WalMart. Yes, Walmart. On the way, he told me not to sit up so straight and to chill out and to talk if I felt like it but not force it. That was nice. I bought some things at Walmart, then we were headed home.
On the way home, he was trying his hand at some English, and he asked me (I thought) if I liked a little wine. I said, “You’re asking if I like to drink?” and he laughed really hard and repeated himself until finally I was like, “You mean Lil Wayne?!?!?!” and as you know I totally like Lil’ Wayne, and I taught him how to properly say “Lil” and we laughed about it. Then he dropped me home. Talk about good first impressions.
*I think I enjoy rap so much partially because it helps me feel closer to home when I’ve been so far away for so long, but it’s probably not what I would say if asked my favorite musical genre.