Today I called the Chilean Embassy in Washington, D.C. I’ve called the Embassy a few times before, but most times have been unsuccessful or, once, I ended up being yelled at in Spanish (I’ve been forever scarred).
But it was today that when I called, there was no Chilean receiver on the other end to decipher my butchered Spanish. Instead, a pre-recorded, rapid-speed voicemail message. “Leave a message after the tone,” was the English translation that followed.
It suddenly hit me for the first time. I’m in the minority where my form of communication is not fully accepted. Speaking loudly in English isn’t recommended.
A moment of panic. A deep breath.
Hola. Me llamo Phoebe. Estoy llamando porque tengo una pregunta sobre mi visa. No sé…en su sitio dijo que yo necesito aplicar por mi visa veinte días en advanco. Pero, mi madre dice que yo necesito aplicar por mi visa seis semanas en advanco. No sé cuál está correcta. Muchas gracias por tu ayuda. Mi teléfono nombre…numero…es 571 217 1591. Ten una buena día Adiós
And I hung up.
I’m pretty sure that half of what I said was incorrect. I’m not sure if I conjugated everything correctly. Honestly, my heart has never pounded so quickly. Yet, I felt so accomplished and so excited afterwards.
Now, more than ever, I feel that I can, hopefully, make it happen in Chilé.
¿Viva Chilé, ya?
*Hello. My name is Phoebe. I’m calling because I have a question about my visa. I don’t know… on the website it said I need to apply for my visa twenty days in advance. But my mom says I need to apply for my visa six weeks in advance. I don’t know which is actually correct. Thank you very much for your help. My name…uh, my phone number…… is 571 217 1591. Have a good day. Good bye. (can you tell I was nervous?)