"SPEAK SPANISH," the man seated in front of us demanded! As my friend and I were the only English speakers on the bus, it was very obvious that the indignant man was speaking to us.
We're were not speaking loudly by any measure, especially with the bus engine roaring and the traffic flying past us. Nonetheless, my friend and I lowered our voices and tried to take the man's concerns in mind.
Once again he turned around and let loose another volley of demands. Now - in my amateurish stage, my ability to understand rapidly-spoken Spanish is poor. Further, it was only 17hr00 and the man smelled heavily of alcohol. Between the pace of his speech and the slurring, I understood very few of his insults. Nevertheless, I got the point.
I understand where he is coming from. I am a visitor to Argentina and I should respect the local language and customs. As Americans, we demand the same of visitors to the United States.
But I am trying. I have been to Spanish school, hired a tutor, and sought out language exchange partners to make Porteño friends and practice my Spanish as much as possible. But it takes time and I've only been here for three weeks.