Una experiencia gacha: Mexican Spanish Reading Practice

¡Una experiencia gacha!


Me enteré de algo BIEN GACHO la semana pasada.

Te daré un poco de contexto. Resulta que mi hermano Joaco ha colaborado en una banda de rock desde hace más de diez años. La banda empezó desde que él y sus amigos iban en la universidad.

Todo comenzó cuando él entró a un concurso de talentos ahí mismo en la escuela. Como ES MUY FAN DE de Slash (ya sabes, el guitarrista de la banda ochentera Guns N’ Roses), se le ocurrió tocar algunos de sus riffs más famosos en la guitarra eléctrica. La verdad, es que sí SE RIFA como músico, así que su presentación fue de las más aplaudidas. ¡Hasta salió con fans!

Unos chicos de su misma generación, que también tocaron ese día, lo contactaron después del evento para invitarlo a unirse a su banda, ya que su guitarrista principal acababa de graduarse y el guitarrista sustituto solo podía tocar contadas veces porque ya estaba haciendo sus prácticas profesionales en una compañía muy grande.

El caso es que, a pesar de que tenía muchísimas materias ese semestre, terminó aceptando. ¡Y es que tocar la guitarra es su MERO MOLE! Ya sé, no tiene nada que ver con su carrera de ingeniero, pero créeme: si mis papás no lo hubieran obligado a estudiar una ingeniería, mi hermanito seguramente se habría metido a uno de esos concursos de la televisión con tal de haber sido el próximo Slash.

Joaco, mi hermano, HIZO MIGAS con todos los miembros de la banda. Él es muy BUENA ONDA, por lo que no me sorprende que haga CUATES

fácilmente, pero, según él, todos los músicos eran muy CHIDOS y el ambiente en los ensayos era muy tranquilo. A Joaco le gustaba tanto que hacía de todo con tal de no faltar a los ensayos y asegurarse de estar puntual en todos los toquines.

Poco a poco, empezaron a hacer algo de LANA en ciertos bares y cafeterías, aunque la gran mayoría de los lugares SE HACÍAN DE LA VISTA GORDA cuando hablaban de dinero, escudándose en que no podían cobrar entradas para ver a una banda local. Pero Joaco es un CHINGÓN, LA NETA, así que él se movía para conseguir patrocinios por parte marcas, y con lo poco que iban ganando lograron financiar su primer álbum grabado en un estudio profesional.

No te voy a mentir, como Joaco es guapito (¡sacó mi buen parecido, obviamente!) y el vocalista, el baterista y la bajista no están de mal ver, siempre que tenían presentación o que subían fotos a redes sociales, se iban haciendo de más fans y seguidores. Hasta mi mamá –que es modista– les hacía prendas y outfits especiales para sus conciertos o sesiones de fotos. ¡Luego hasta se pusieron a hacer videos musicales en su canal de YouTube! En fin, definitivamente LE ECHABAN GANAS.

Con decirte que mi hermano seguía haciendo lo posible por reservar bastante tiempo para los ensayos, aún después de graduarse de la universidad y comenzar a trabajar. ¡Todos se volvieron GODINES! Bueno, todos excepto el baterista que se volvió chef de cocina. Pero los demás iban bien vestiditos, con su traje y gafete, a la oficina de día, y llegaban a la casa a ensayar por la noche. Mis papás ya estaban acostumbrados al escándalo. Yo no lo extraño nada, he de confesarlo.

Pero me estoy desviando. Los años pasaron y la banda seguía creciendo en seguidores y fans poco a poco. Vamos, no dejaban de ser una banda local, poco conocida fuera de algunas colonias y barrios, pero al menos seguían tocando, algo atípico en bandas que se forman en la universidad.

Algunas veces, incluso viajaban a otros estados a tocar en pequeños festivales de música. Y cada vez que SALÍAN DE RODADA, se sentían unas estrellas. ¡Joaco se ponía insoportable! Lo entiendo, eso sí. Ese tipo de euforia es normal cuando haces algo que verdaderamente te apasiona.

Todo siguió relativamente igual por varios años, hasta que hace seis meses, más o menos, conocieron a un chico llamado Aldo que –según les dijo– era su seguidor desde años atrás y que los admiraba muchísimo. DIZQUE su fan número uno, el tal Aldo. Y sí, al principio se mostraba MUY BUEN PEX, comentando cada foto que subían a sus redes sociales, asistiendo a cada concierto y siempre dándoles regalos, desde un café hasta equipo de sonido para sus presentaciones.

A mí ME DIO MALA ESPINA desde que lo conocí en persona, para ser sincera. No puedo explicar qué exactamente fue lo que me cayó mal, solo sé que algo en su manera de hablar me parecía fastidioso; como si ensayara todo lo que decía de antemano, ¿sabes? Algo así. En alguna ocasión se lo señalé a Joaco. Le dije que NO ME LATÍA que estuviera tan pegado a ellos, pero mi hermano, siendo el PAN DE DIOS que siempre ha sido, ME DIO EL AVIÓN completamente.

De entre las cosas que este chico platicaba constantemente, hablaba de una prima que, juraba, tocaba muy bien la guitarra. Se le metió en la cabeza que mi hermano debía invitarla a salir, pero pues Joaco no estaba interesado en lo más mínimo. Él cortó con su novia de muchos años apenas hace unos meses y quedó muy deprimido. Lo que menos quería era SALIR A CIEGAS con la tal prima de Aldo.

Finalmente dejó de insistir en que salieran, pero seguía hablando todo el tiempo de ella y de lo talentosa que era con la guitarra. Bueno, pues resulta que hace una semana le escribieron los otros músicos de la banda (sus amigos de años, recuerda) para decirle que tenían que hablar con él. Ni siquiera en persona; le pidieron una videollamada. Por supuesto, Joaco se conectó, todo inocente, pensando en que se trataba de una reunión de planeación. ¡Pero no!

La videollamada era para decirle que “lamentablemente” él ya no podría formar parte de la banda. Aldo les había conseguido un contrato con una disquera CHONCHA, pero con la condición de que su prima entrara a la banda como la guitarrista principal. ¡Imagínate! Mi hermano, que tanto le dio a la banda, escuchando las excusas de sus supuestos amigos de años para desecharlo con tal de firmar contrato con una disquera. ¡Qué gacho, DE VERAS!


A “gacha” experience


I found out something pretty messed up last week.

Let me give you a bit of context. So, my brother Joaco has been playing in a rock band for over ten years. The whole band thing started when he and his pals were in college.

It all began when he entered a talent contest at his college. Since he’s a big Slash fan (you know, the guitarist from the 80s band Guns N’ Roses), he decided to play some of Slash’s most famous riffs on the electric guitar. Honestly, he’s a really good musician, so everyone loved his performance. He even got some fans out of it!

Some guys from the same grade who also played that day came up to him afterwards to invite him to join their band since their main guitarist had just graduated, and his replacement could only play occasionally because he was doing an internship at a large company.

So, even though he had a lot of classes that semester, he ended up accepting. You see, playing the guitar is his thing! I know it has nothing to do with his engineering career, but trust me, if my parents hadn’t forced him to study engineering, my little brother would probably have entered one of those TV contests to try and become the next Slash.

Anyways, my brother Joaco became friends with all the band members. He’s really cool, so I’m never surprised when he makes friends easily. According to him, all the musicians were real nice as well, and the atmosphere at rehearsals was very chill. Joaco liked them so much that he went out of his way not to miss rehearsals and made sure to be on time for gigs.

After a while, they began making some money in bars and cafes, though most places didn’t bother paying them, claiming that they couldn’t charge entrance fees for a local band. But Joaco is a badass, for real. He managed to get sponsorships from brands, and with the little that they were earning, they managed to record their first album in a professional studio.

Truth be told, since Joaco is good-looking (he got my good looks, obviously!) and the vocalist, drummer, and bassist aren’t bad-looking either, every time they performed or posted photos on social media, they got more fans and followers. My mom, who’s a seamstress, even made special clothes and outfits for their concerts or photo sessions. They also started making music videos for their YouTube channel! Anyway, they definitely made a big effort.

Let me tell you, my brother did everything he could to make time for rehearsals, even after he graduated from university and started working. They all became desk jockeys! Well, everyone except the drummer, who became a chef. But the rest went to the office during the day, all well-groomed, with their suits and badges, and came home to rehearse at night. My parents were already used to the noise; I don’t miss it at all if I’m being honest.

But I digress. The years passed, and little by little the band continued to gain fans and followers. They were still a local band, not well-known outside the local area, but at least they kept playing, which obviously isn’t the norm for bands formed in college.

Sometimes they even traveled to other states to play at small music festivals; whenever they hit the road, they felt like rock stars. Joaco was unbearable, but I understood … it’s normal to feel euphoric when you do something you’re truly passionate about.

Everything just chugged along nicely for several years until about six months ago when they met a guy named Aldo, who (supposedly!) admired them a lot and had been their fan for years. This Aldo guy even said that he was their number-one fan. And yes, at first, he seemed like a good guy, commenting on every photo they posted on social media, going to every concert, and always bringing them gifts, from coffee to sound equipment.

I had a bad feeling about him from the moment we met, to be honest. I can’t explain exactly what it was that bothered me; I just knew that I didn’t like his way of speaking. It was as if he rehearsed everything he said in advance, you know? On one occasion, I pointed this out to Joaco. I told him I didn’t like that he was so attached to them, but my brother, being the saint that he’s always been, completely ignored me.

Among the things this guy constantly talked about, was a cousin who he swore played the guitar very well. He got it into his head that my brother should ask her out, but Joaco wasn’t interested at all. He’d just broken up with his long-term girlfriend and was very depressed. The last thing he wanted was to go on a blind date with Aldo’s cousin.

Finally, Aldo stopped insisting that they go out, but he kept bragging about how talented she was with the guitar. Well, it turns out that a week ago, the other band members (his longtime friends, if you remember) wrote to my brother saying that they needed to talk. Not even in person; they wanted to do a video call instead. Of course, Joaco said yes, innocently thinking it was some sort of meeting. But no!

The video call was to tell him that, “unfortunately”, he could no longer be part of the band. Aldo had got them a deal with a big record label, on the condition that his cousin joined the band as the lead guitarist. Imagine that! My brother, who’d given so much to the band, had to listen to the excuses of his so-called lifelong friends who were getting rid of him to sign a contract with a record label. It’s just so messed up!


Glossary of useful words/expressions


bien gacho

‘Bien’ generally means ‘good’, but it’s also used colloquially as a synonym of ‘muy’ (or ‘very’).

‘GACHO’, on the other hand, isn’t good at all … it can be used to describe anything that’s ‘lowsy’, ‘wrong’ or simply ‘messed up’!

So, in this context, bien gacho = very messed up.

es muy fan de

The official translation of ‘fan’ in Spanish is ‘aficionado’, BUT Mexicans almost never use ‘aficionado’ in everyday speech. Instead, they use the English word ‘fan’.

‘Es muy fan de…’ means ‘He’s a big fan of …’

se rifa

‘RIFARSE’ is an expression similar to the English ‘to nail’, in the sense of doing something extremely well.

So, ‘se rifa’ (or ‘se la rifa’) means ‘(he/she) nails it’.

mero mole

If you’re familiar with Mexican cuisine, you might think this is some kind of sauce …

… but, nope, ‘MERO MOLE’ is actually a way of saying that someone is either very passionate and/or very good at something.


hacer migas

In formal Spanish, ‘migas’ translates as ‘crumbs’ (think ‘breadcrumbs’), BUT ‘hacer migas’ is also a colloquial way of saying ‘to befriend’.

buena onda

‘Onda’ means ‘wave’ in English, or ‘vibe’ in Mexican slang, so if someone is ‘buena onda’, it means that they’re ‘nice’ or ‘cool’.

Make sure to check out our ULTIMATE GUIDE ON ALL THINGS ‘ONDA’ if you wanna know more 😊

cuate

This is a VERY Mexican word!

‘Cuate’ derives from the Náhuatl word ‘cóatl’ (meaning both ‘serpent’ AND ‘twin’). It’s formally used as a synonym of ‘fraternal twin’, BUT it’s also a colloquial expression for ‘buddy’ or ‘dude’.

If you’re wondering (as I did!) what a twin has to do with a serpent, well, there IS actually a connection! In pre-Hispanic times it was said that twin fetuses came ‘encuatados’, meaning that they were entangled or intertwined like snakes!

chido

‘Chido’ (or ‘chida’ for feminine) is Mexican slang for ‘cool’!

lana

‘Lana’ means ‘wool’ in English, BUT it’s also A COLLQUIAL WAY TO SAY ‘MONEY’ in Mexican Slang.

hacerse de la vista gorda

This is the Spanish equivalent of ‘to turn a blind eye’.

chingón

Chingón’ is Mexican slang for ‘badass’, ‘awesome’, or ‘cool’! Just don’t use it around someone’s abuelita … trust me, she’ll probably think you’re being rude.

Unless you hear her using it that is, in which case by all means go ahead …

la neta

In Mexican slang, ‘LA NETA’ means ‘THE truth’ (unfiltered and unvarnished!) … but when used as an adjective it means something like ‘awesome’, as in‘¡Eres la neta!’



le echaban ganas / echarle ganas

‘ECHARLE GANAS’ means ‘to work hard’ or ‘to make an effort’. It normally implies that the person in question is giving it their all!

godines

‘GODINES’ are people who spend all day behind a desk in an office.

It’s an EXTREMELY popular term in Mexico and there are a lot of jokes related to ‘la cultura godín‘, or ‘the desk jockey culture’ in Mexico.

Cartoon of a typical "godín" saying, "Soy Godínez"


salir de rodada

This is the Spanish equivalent of ‘to hit the road’!

Vámonos de rodada. = Let’s hit the road.

dizque

This one’s actually a contraction of ‘dice que’ (i.e., ‘(he/she/it) says that’), and it normally translates to one of the following: ‘so-called’ / ‘allegedly’ / ‘presumably’.

muy buen pex

‘Pex’ is a euphemism for ‘pedo’, which is a versatile Mexican slang word if I ever saw one!

There are LOADS of PHRASES/EXPRESSIONS WITH THE WORD ‘PEDO’, but in this particular instance, ‘muy buen pex’ refers to someone cool or likable.

dar mala espina

The first time someone told me they ‘got a bad spine’ I wasn’t sure whether they were talking about back pain or prickly cacti!

Turns out it’s just the Spanish equivalent of ‘to give a bad feeling’.

no me latía

This one’s VERY similar to ‘dar mala espina’; it means something like ‘I had a bad feeling’.

pan de Dios

Nope, ‘bread of God’ isn’t some delicious ambrosia-filled pastry; it actually refers to a very good and/or innocent person!

me dio el avión

‘DAR EL AVIÓN’ is a Mexican expression meaning ‘to ignore’ or ‘to blow (someone) off’.

Me dio el avión. = He/she ignored me.

salir a ciegas

If your Mexican pal says they ‘salí a ciegas’ or ‘went out blindly’ (which would be the literal translation!), it doesn’t mean that they left their house blindfolded … they just went on a blind date!

choncha

This is the feminine form of ‘CHONCHO’, a fun synonym of ‘chubby’ or ‘bulky’ in Mexican slang.

In the context of the story, a ‘disquera choncha refers to a big record label’.

de veras

‘De veras’ comes from the Latin ‘verus’ and it’s an EXTREMELY widespread expression across the Spanish-speaking world, meaning ‘honestly’, ‘really’, ‘sincerely’ and the likes.

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