I was in the middle of an English-language conversation with some family members north of the border recently when I stumbled over the word “popsicle.” I could think of a similar word in Spanish -“paleta,” which refers to a fruity Mexican ice treat – but the English word had temporarily disappeared from my lexicon.
So after agonizing over it for a few seconds, I said “paleta” and everyone understood because the family members speak Spanish anyways. These word freezes happen to me every so often, reminding me that Mexico is still in my subconscious. On occasion, a Spanish word or pronunciation will come out in mid-sentence and just last week I spelled a word in a document as if it were written in Spanish. It took me a few spins through spellcheck for me to realize it was my own error and not the program’s.
To read more about Mexican treats that inspire brain freeze, check out this blog item from SignOnSanDiego’s Street blog about one of my all-time favorite summertime snack spots in Tijuana, Tepoznieves.