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Saturday, February 19, 2011

I Speak American

A Spring Sunday in Madrid


We started out the day at the famous
Sunday morning flea Market, El Rastro.
Since it was so crowded we all said if we
got separated we'd meet back in Sol Square.
In the first block, we got separated.
The kids found Rob & I in an antique shop
but there was no sign of my brother.
After the market, we popped into a coffee
bar for pastries and cafe con leche and
who should walk in but my brother.
I guess we have the same taste in coffee bars.


We headed back to Sol Square
to check into our apartment rental.


We settled into our funky and
I mean funky with a capital F
apartment.  We took a little siesta
and headed back out to explore.


We spent the afternoon roaming through
the Museo del Prado admiring the works
of Goya and Velazquez.


And one of my favorites, Bosch's triptych,
The Garden of Earthly Delights.


By now we are hungry again so
we went to the wonderful supermercado,
El Corte Ingles.  We wanted to have tapas
and sangria our first night in our apartment
but we had no pitcher for the sangria.
I tried to ask the check out girls but I had
no idea how to say pitcher in Spanish.


I even did a quick sketch on the
back of the receipt and tried "vaso grande".
They sent me to another section of the store
where they sell paper goods and plastic ware.
Still nothing.  The cashier there was trying to
explain where I had to go to get this but even
though 4 of us had studied Spanish we had no
idea what she was saying.  Finally, she called out
to the other shoppers for an English speaker.
And here comes a gorgeous Spanish guy to
my rescue.    I showed him my sketch and told
 him I wanted to buy a pitcher.  He asked, "picture?" 
No, I explained, "I want to make Sangria." 
Now he understood.
He explained that I had to go to
another Corte de Ingles that is up the street
and they would have a kitchenware department.
But it closed in 10 minutes.
After I thanked him, en espanol, I ended the
conversation as I often do with "cool."
And then I heard "Coooooooollllll", we looked
in each others eyes and smiled.  And we both
realized, yes, he can speak English but he
just spoke like an American, and he liked it!


All this time a tiny Spanish Grandma
was standing behind us at the checkout.
Though she didn't speak English she
knew exactly what was going on.  We sent
Rob and the kids home with the groceries
 and my brother and I were off on the quest
for the pitcher and the little Grandma was in
on the caper.  She showed us the proper
door to exit from and took us to the correct
street and as we were thanking her, she
barked, "rapido, rapido!"  or we would never
make it before closing.  We got in and ran
up 6 flights of escalators and split up to search
and in the end... success.


And that night, over tapas & sangria,
we toasted all our Spanish helpers.
Salud!



1 comment:

  1. What a delightful tale! Grocery shopping is the best way to meet REAL people!

    ReplyDelete