It’s easy to convince yourself that your Spanish is getting better, that you understand more and more each day. That is, it’s easy until you unknowingly consume empanadas filled with vegetables and alligator meat. As far as I could understand, the plan for my co-worker’s birthday midday meal went like this: her boyfriend holds a number of odd jobs. One of them, over the summer, was working on a farm that sells meat. His boss gifted him some food, and he passed it on to his girlfriend. She stuck it in our freezer, and took it out to thaw last night, saying how excited she was to finally eat it. I glanced at the frozen hunk while washing dishes. Sure, there were some unfamiliar words on the package, but what else is new? It turned out that caiman is not just another word for carne, meat. But guess what else? Alligator tastes just like chicken. Except it makes you feel way more awesome.