Saturday, April 30, 2011

Idiomasyncracies: ¿Hay Fab?

I often walk to the corner store and end up being cornered by the owner.  He'll go off on a rant, arms flailing about, while customers come and "ocho" go.  He just belts out a number once in a while to collect his "doce" due from the patrons.  Frequently people walk in and ask, ¿Hay Fab?

The question means, "Is there Fab?" or more in laymen's terms, "Do you have laundry soap?"  For that the owner has to go into the back room.  It gives me time to think, and one day it occurred to me that I haven't actually SEEN Fab since I came back here in 2007. 

Powdered soap usage is not limited to laundry.  Cars, dishes, hands, floors - you name it - washed with Fab.  In the days before our attraction to having to have an overwhelming variety of brands available to choose from, in laundry soap brands, there was only Fab.  The people still refer to all laundry soap as Fab.  For a Yucatecan, a bag of Fab, and bottles of Fabuloso, bleach and muriatic acid are all one needs to effectively clean any kind of surface, dirt, or mold.

Yesterday I scoured the laundry soap shelves at our local supermarket, Chedraui, and this is what I found.  No such thing as Fab.

¿Hay Fab? 
No, no hay.


Theresa in Mèrida said...

Funny, I never thought to look. I have heard people refer to using Fab and never thought about it.

Linda Dorton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Dorton said...

Thanks for the comment. I just realized it the other day and found it noteworthy. (I misspoke in the deleted comment above.)

The Artful Oven said...

This is Hilarious! I am from Panama and I had a maid that used to call after me everyday it seems "Oye Miguel! No Hay Fab!".

They still sell Fab there. My wife and I loved this post!

Linda Dorton said...

To The Artful Oven,
Thanks for the wonderful comment! I find it funny. We went through Central America not long ago and noticed Fab does still exist there. Hope life is good in Panamá.