Originally Posted by Merlin III
Paul, I keep seeing numerous people on Adventure Rider saying "No Fumar espanol" when wanting to communicate that they don't speak Spanish. I was taught to say "mi no habla espanol" in high school Spanish. I looked up "fumar" in the dictionary and it says that it means "to smoke"? I am not doubting you or the numerous others who use the word "fumar" on Adventure Rider, but I am curious about how this colloquialism came to be? Is the word "fumar" used through out Latin America of just certain areas, or did I just completely miss the boat on the humor of the situation?
there are three possible situations that you can be stopped for down here, where i use it
1. you did committed a driving offense and are about to get a fine
2. a shake down where they are trying to bride you for money
3. a checkpoint where anything can happen but usually it is a simple check your papers
in situation 1. 'no fumar espanol' works like this...the cop will come over an be serious and quote a bunch of lines, you simply say no fumar espanol to whatever he says...what it does is lighten the mood, makes him smile, take his mind off the fine most of the time and bingo you are free to go
in situation 2. the shakedown, the hustle, the scam, the rub, the bribe; whatever you want to call it...if they can't speak english and you no fumar espanol, it is now a deadlock, they will try to explain in lots of different ways but you "no fumar espanol" eventually sometimes in a minutes, sometimes 30 minutes you will be free to go...personally i refuse to pay a bride regardless of what it is
situation 3 just usually a check of paperwork, nothing more, these blocks usually cover the road or at least half of it, so when you stop you should understand that they want to see your license passport etc, words are similar, if situation 3 turns into situation 2 you can no fumar espanol as long as you haven't proved otherwise already
yes it is a little silly/ infantile but in the last 100,000 kms being stopped numerous times i have NEVER paid a fine or a bribe...so for me i will stick with it...thanks CM and other guys who paved the way for cops south of the border now think we gringos on motos are all "stupido", and yes that is a real spanish word!