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Pronunciation Is Key

When we’re in Honduras, we often have to go to the mainland city of La Ceiba to get things we can’t obtain on Guanaja. While we’ve become more familiar with the city over the years, it’s still not the easiest to navigate. Part of that is because directions are usually based on landmarks and not addresses.

The Yamaha outboard motor dealership? That’s next to Popeye’s chicken. Don’t know where Popeye’s is? Just get in a cab and ask the driver to take you there. Problem solved. Hopefully—assuming it hasn’t moved.

When Doug first went to the dealership, he jumped in a cab and asked the driver to take him to Popeye’s. The driver shrugged. Doug explained again. The driver drove around until Doug realized he wasn’t taking him anywhere. He got in a second cab. The same thing happened.

Doug got in a third cab and asked to be taken to Popeye’s. The driver looked confused, but said “po-PAY-ays? Pollo?” Doug quickly realized the Spanish pronunciation was different. “Si,” he said, and finally got there.

Doug became so accustomed to the Spanish pronunciation of Popeye’s that when I told him that we were getting one in Half Moon Bay, he didn’t know what I was talking about at first.

“Dude, seriously. Popeye’s? The chicken place?”

Nope, hadn’t heard of it.

“Oh, po-PAY-ays. Does that sound familiar?”

Sure, that did it. Of course.