At Gate E-8 of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson the other day I was sitting around waiting to board with what looked to be a full flight, and I was basically the only non-Mexican (by blood, I mean). Mostly people were speaking Spanish. A few little kids speaking English I guess. I was happy to be reminded of where I was returning to.

The Delta employee staffing our gate was clearly American, not of Mexican ancestry– a young and really jolly black chick. She gave off the preliminary announcements in a perfect Atlanta vernacular. And then, rather than handing off the mic to the Aeromexico (codeshare) employee next to her, she said the entire thing again in Spanish. Like, almost perfectly. Much better accent than mine anyway, I think.

The Mexicans loved it. Funny, too, because it was definitely the textbook Spanish that you get in high school. “Tarjeta” instead of “formato,” “hacer fila” instead of “formar,” “immigración” instead of “migración,” etc. She actually switched over to puro español after a few minutes, except here and there she would slip up and just say something in English either by habit or for ease.

“Su atención please, ‘hacer una sola fila’ significa una persona detrás de la otra.”
“Por favor, si tienes la tarjeta [numero blah blah blah] de immigración la dejen en el counter cuando pasan.”

It was super cute. I heard a dude next to me mimic her in admiration after one of the times she broke her Spanish up with “please.” Then as I was passing her to enter the “gusano” (yes, the “worm”– what Mexicans call the skyway or whatever the hell the tube that leads into the plane is) I heard her answering a passenger, “Pues, sí, soy Americana por nacimiento pero en el corazón soy Latina.” AHUEVO


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