K is for Kilogramo and Kilómetro.
Not acquainted with the metric system nor thinking it had much importance proved that ignorance is not bliss.
I was in my twenties when I traveled to Mexico and had no idea that it was important to know what a kilómetro (km) or kilogramo (kg) meant.
Okay, I’d heard the word ‘kilos’ a lot but I really didn’t know what that meant physically or distance wise. On a trip to Mexico City, I found out.
“How far is Teotihuacan?”
“Cinco kilómetros.” (five kilometers).
My mind interpreted this as five miles but we arrived quickly at our destination. I later found a kilometer is .6 miles.
So I figured if a kilometer was about half a mile, a kilogram was half a pound.
At an outdoor market the next day I wanted some strawberries. My husband reminded me that Mexico used kilograms for weight and left to a store nearby.
So I asked the vendor:
“Un kilogramo de fresas, por favor.” One kilogram of strawberries, please.
See, I thought I was getting a half pound of strawberries.
Petrified with embarrassment, this pocha walked away with over two pounds of strawberries!
To complicate matters, the shortened version of kilogramo is kilo, which doesn’t mean 2.2 pounds but “loads of” as in:
“Me comé un helado con kilos de chocolate.”
“I ate ice cream with loads of chocolate.”
But, it’s okay to make that mistake.