So I was closing up shop last night at the tutoring place where I do some contract work at and the cleaning crew was on their way out. One of the two of the crew wished me a good night. I replied almost automatically in Spanish, for some reason.
"Habla español?" he asked with notable surprise.
"A veces" I responded.
He turned, walked back across the room, shook my hand, introduced himself and asked me where I was from. We chatted for about two minutes in Spanish.
Nice end to my day, and I'm glad I got to connect a bit with a side of the Texas workforce I suspect most Anglos take for granted and never really think about. This Anglo for one will be thinking about them a bit more now.
I always feel a little nervous about speaking Spanish with the Hispanic population here, because I don't want to seem like I'm showing off and their English is generally much better than my Spanish. Still though, the night cleaning man seemed to feel really validated when I addressed him in Spanish. I felt validated by his response. I hope Juan and his co-worker had a good night (and are able to get decent health insurance -- cleaners get paid badly down here)