Hola!

Hola!

Barcelona

If there is one language that I’d love to learn, it’s Spanish.

I’m virtually fluent in it already. I mentioned this to Don.

“I think you mean fluid,” was his response. Ignore him, he’s just jealous of my uncanny ability to pick up words and phrases in a short space of time.

I already had a solid grounding in the language thanks to Sesame Street. I also have Feliz Navidad, despacito and macarena, as well as tapas and sangría.

I learnt queso (cheese) and jamón (ham) the first time we were in Spain in 2004, back in the days when I was a vegetarian. Worried that I would be served ham in the ham restaurant, I made Don walk the streets with me until we found cheese labelled cheese. Only then could we go to the ham restaurant for a ham sandwich and a cheese sandwich – queso, no jamón!

Now three days into our Barcelona visit, I’ve added potato, street, house, fountain and grilled. I’ve just forgotten fountain and grilled, but I’m sure if I see them written down I’ll be right.

My favourite word is hola (hello). I’ve hola-ed everybody – every staff member at our hotel, all shop assistants, the people working at the museums, Don, our room, the shower, dinner, wine, the elevator, sangria, the bed.

Obviously I look like I speak Spanish. I’ve been stopped in the street several times and asked in Spanish for directions somewhere. Ok once, I was stopped once, but it just proves I look like a local.

Yesterday we sat for lunch at a little tapas bar.

“Hola!” I said to the woman serving.

“Hola!” she replied, before bursting into a string of rapid Spanish. The thing is, the whole time she was speaking I felt like I knew what she was saying. I didn’t. But I nodded and smiled, said hola and sí and queso a few times, pointed to random items on the menu and sounded them out in near-perfect Spanish. Wine and beer and food soon appeared, so all good, sí?

Perhaps when I get home I’ll enrol in Spanish lessons. Anybody is welcome to join me, however you’ll need to get the basics under your belt first.

Far be it for me to upstage you.

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