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3 lessons in Mexican Spanish

3 lessons in Mexican Spanish

Lesson I: The polite plastic bagOne way to express friendliness or politeness in Mexican Spanish is to add diminutive suffixes to words. For instance, someone giving directions might tell you to pass the parquecito — the “little park” — even if the park isn’t little. At the cafe, someone might ask for a cafecito, or “little coffee,” even if he wants a large.

13 moments of culture shock for the first-time American traveler

13 moments of culture shock for the first-time American traveler

MY FIRST TIME ABROAD, I knew things were going to be different the moment I saw my European host dad strip down to a speedo tighter than my bikini bottoms and dive into the Baltic Sea. Cultural differences will surprise you, but you have to learn to live with them to enjoy traveling.When you realize you’re not as smart as you thoughtYou thought you knew it all.

Ellen Page sums up world’s problems in one short sentence

Ellen Page sums up world’s problems in one short sentence

I WISH we lived in a world where the headlines that resulted from the speech given by actress Ellen Page above weren’t focused so much on her being gay. If you Google her name right now, you get something like this:What if they were more like:“Ellen Page says we need to love each other more”“Ellen Page says let’s celebrate our beauty and not attack our differences”“Ellen Page rails against bullying and pushes for acceptance”Instead, we get “Ellen Page comes out as gay” — and that’s it.

20 pics to make you wish you were heli-skiing Alaska

20 pics to make you wish you were heli-skiing Alaska

Henry Munter, Matador Ambassador and lead guide for Chugach Powder Guides out of Girdwood, AK, is gearing up for the heli season with his team. After a slow start to the winter, February delivered the goods in a series of cold storms that buried the low-elevation trees. With a stout base and the days getting longer, it looks like a another solid season is underway.

Photo essay: The sulfur miners of Ijen, Indonesia

Photo essay: The sulfur miners of Ijen, Indonesia

Photojournalist and Matador contributor Andrés Vanegas Canosa reports from an independent trip to the Ijen volcano sulfur mine in East Java, Indonesia.I HAD HEARD about the sulfur miners of Ijen before I arrived in Banyuwangi, a town on the eastern edge of the island of Java. Not many tourists visit this town, and finding information in English was tough.

15 untranslatable words we should be using in English

15 untranslatable words we should be using in English

15 awesomely untranslatable words, along with conversations for context.1. LebensmüdeGerman for “weary of life”John: I’ve been rather lebensmüde these days. I don’t know what’s wrong.Johnny: It’s those German lessons you’re taking.(Luckily the word contains a smiley (umlaut) to cheer you up.)2. Parea Greek for “a group of friends that get together to enjoy nothing else but sharing their life experiences, philosophies, values, and ideas”John: I’m done with going out every weekend.