Dónde Está el Baño?


A monkey at Dreams Las Mareas resort in Costa Rica.Many, many years ago I took Spanish in high school. I did fairly well although I still think my Spanish teacher gave me a slight pass sometimes as I was also involved in yearbook, and she was yearbook advisor. I wish I could say my Spanish learnin’ has served me well, but I don’t remember much of the language any longer, although I can still read it out loud if something is written in Spanish. The issue there is that I probably wouldn’t know what I’m saying, so it’s probably best I stick to English.

Through all of my forgetfulness of the language there have been two phrases I can speak with authority, well, okay, three if you count “dos cervezas frias, por favor,” but mostly I know “No hablo español,” which is simply “I don’t speak Spanish,” and it oddly comes in handy if a person assumes you speak the language, but the coup de grâce of my knowledge is being able to ask where a bathroom is located. The thing is I’ve never been able to use the phrase as everywhere I’ve traveled, well, English was widely spoken. Finally, though, after all of these years, on a trip to Costa Rica, I was able to rattle off “Dónde Está el Baño?”, and the dude pointed me in the direction of relief!

I have never been so excited not to really know how to speak a different language!

A weird tree at Dreams Las Mareas resort in Costa Rica.The thing is that as we were preparing for our trip I really wanted to brush up on my Spanish. I kept thinking I should pull out my Duolingo app and start the lessons, but I would usually keep thinking about this when I was in the car and never followed through when I could pay attention. Eventually the time came to head to Costa Rica, most of the reviews about the Dreams Las Mareas resort mentioned you could get by without knowing Spanish, and although sometimes a challenge, most of the staff could figure out what you wanted, and they would always end with “It’s a pleasure.”

It was a nice trip though I wish it were longer. We saw some monkeys, and we opted not to go on any excursions, instead just to relax a lot, which was nice, but I will say that it was really hot and humid, especially just coming off a Chicago winter. Nothing really mattered, though, because all I know is that I finally got to use “Dónde Está el Baño?”, and I pulled it off like I knew Spanish!