Flat Stanley's Adventures in Illinois and Mexico

Feb. 26, 2009, Saltillo - Flat Stanley learns some Spanish, and makes some friends
Dear Caleb,

After a few days here in Saltillo, Flat Stanley has learned a few Spanish words and phrases. Of course he knows friendly greetings, buenos dias, buenas tardes, buenas noches, adios, and some courteous phrases por favor, muchas gracias, but he didn't know much more than this when we arrived. Now, he has started to learn a bit more. First, he learned to ask hablo ingles, which came in very handy (especially in restaurants). Then, he learned a few handy words for counting - uno, dos, tres, cuatro, and that worked out fine, because Flat Stanley sometimes orders a many as four tacos. Of course, when he needed more than four, it was a problem - until he learned the phrase uno mas. That phrase solved all of his problems. The night that Flat Stanley wanted to order six tacos, he simply said, cuatro tacos por favor, y uno mas, y uno mas, and that worked out just fine.

But then, we had some trouble when he learned how to call out, Hola senorita. At first, there was no problem, and he made a few friends (as you can see in the photos below), but then he tried to show off for the girls. In the center of town, there are some statues of lions (they are a part of the symbol for the town of Saltillo). Flat Stanley tried to show off for the girls by re-enacting his adventures with the bears and the crocodile in the museum. Well... in Saltillo it is not a good idea to climb on the public sculpture, and so Flat Stanley learned the word Federales. You can see the result below. The Federales were not very happy with Flat Stanley.

Luckily, Flat Stanley had learned already the phrase lo siento mucho, and the Federales let him go free, after he promised to behave for the rest of the day. I didn't want to take any chances, so I decided that a trip to the Cathedral would be a safe thing to do. The Cathedral of Saltillo is really a beautiful building (the style is called baroque), and it is nearly three hundred years old (it's construction was started in 1745). Flat Stanley posed in front of the cathedral, but my camera doesn't have a wide angle lens, so the photo is from an odd angle.

The inside of the cathedral is also beautiful. The side walls have large gilded wood carvings (the left and right images in the triptych below), and the altar is also quite ornate (the bottom photo). The cathedral is very long and narrow, as you can see in the center photo. In the center photo you might also be able to see the pipes for the pipe organ (but you'll probably need to look at the large version of the photo to see them).

Flat Stanley is a very friendly guy, and even in the cathedral he was able to make new friends. You can see some of them in the photos below. I was happy that these new friends were nice children who were very well behaved. They were a good influence on Flat Stanley.

There wasn't much excitement in the day after this. Flat Stanley had found his inner peace, so we ended the day of tourism. I hope all is well back in Indiana. I will write more tomorrow.