July 14, 2007 – I thought that platicar meant to chat, and that is the first entry in my dictionary.

But as I’ve heard the word used over the months that my Spanish comprehension has been gradually getting better, I’ve realized that it’s much more than that, at least in Mexico. In English “chatting” is a word most commonly meaning light talk… chitchat if you will.

Platicar here is to converse, and I’ve come to love this verb. It can be light talk, as when a doctor and nurse were platicando while giving me the treatment at the Ajijic Clinic.

It can be a far-ranging conversation, like the kind I have frequently with my maid Rosa, where we discuss getting older, the history of this town, food, why there were fireworks in the middle of the night, and many other topics. I call her mi profesora and say that platicando conmigo is part of her job at my house, so that I can better understand her culture. And frankly that’s a lot more interesting to me than exactly how clean my floor is.

Once, Kelly and I were just going out when our friend Roberto, who does some gardening and pool care for us, walked over from his house. He’s the assistant to the recently elected Delegado (kind of like a City Manager), and since the election Roberto is much busier. He explained that he was late arriving because people had been stopping him in the street to platicar about various civic matters.

Mexicans are communicative, Mexicans are lively, and they love platicando! Me too!