I sit at a café reading a novella for class and wait for my order to be called out. All around me are women just like me; undergrad and grad students eating and sipping coffee whilst studying. At the same time they are talking; gossiping, exhanging advice, complaining…they speak in high-pitched and rapid tones; one word flowing into the next. Spanish is one of the fastest spoken languages in the world, with 7.82 syllables per second, and Puerto Rican Spanish is the fastes within that cohort. So, sitting here I can’t help but feel both nauseaus and dizzy at the speed which these girls talk. It’s an unending spiel of information, both personal and not at all personal, on every subject under the sun. It is like they feel pressured to spill out every thought that crosses their mind before they drop dead of some unknown disease. Add to that the hand gestures and body language, because Puerto Ricans communicate with every inch of themselves, and it’s like I am being bombarded on all sides by conversation. Needless to say, this is why I avoid sitting in cafes.


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