American in Spain

I learned a new vocabulary word today

February 24, 2009

I got a voice mail message this morning on my mobile phone saying:

Hola, buenos dí­as. Le llamo para decirle...le llamo de _____ de transportes para decirle que tenemos un multo para entregarle. Por favor que nos pone en contacto con nosotros al numero de que le he llamado.

This translates to:

Hello, good morning. I'm calling you to tell you...I'm calling from the transport _____ to tell you that we have a fine to bring you. Please get in contact with us at the number I called you from.

I didn't understand the part I left blank. I wasn't sure about the word "multo". I knew that "multa", feminine, refers to a "ticket, fine, or penalty" that police give you for bad parking or driving, but I had to look up that "multo" can also mean the same thing. My first thought, naturally, was "CRAP!!, a speeding ticket!"

But then I got to thinking... Wait a minute! There's no way the traffic cops could have gotten my mobile number, which is new since I got my license and doesn't appear anywhere on our car registration or insurance documents. They hadn't mentioned any names or license plate numbers, so maybe they had the wrong number!

Later this afternoon I called them up and it all became clear what had happened. This was a delivery of some storage shelving that we ordered lately trying to coordinate a time to drop them off. The misunderstanding?

The guy didn't say multo, he said bulto, which means "package or shipment". Kind of changes the whole meaning of the call, doesn't it? Stupid foreign language had me freaking out over nothing!