A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I've had a date...

Tonight, I had a date with a handsome Spanish guy from Barcelona!

Ooooooooooooooh! No, don't worry, I am not changing persuasion!

Last Saturday, I had lunch at a Tapas Bar in Newcastle.
After the meal, I asked the Spanish assistant-manager if anyone ever asked to be helped with their Spanish.
He said that he couldn't recall such a request.
So I enquired if there were any native speakers who could help me with my Spanish. He said that there were quite a few waiters who were struggling with their English and if I wanted he would introduce me to some of them in a bid to set up some sort of language exchange.

So tonight I got there at seven. Manuel, the assistant-manager, looked around but most of the waiters were too busy to listen to my baby Spanish!
Then, David walked in. Manuel dragged him across the bar and introduced me explaining that I wanted to practice my Spanish.

Awkward moment...for 2 seconds!

David turned out to be a very willing helper as long as I promised to help him with his English.

He's from a small village just outside Barcelona and has been in Newcastle for eight months.
I said that the best way to learn a language is to get a native girlfriend. He said that Newcastle lasses drank too much and started showing their pechugas!
Newcastle still seems to be living up to its reputation as the party capital of Britain!

We had a good chat. Half in English, half in Spanish! And the third half using sign language! We waffled on about beans, chorizo and tripe...

We exchanged phone numbers and promised to meet at least once a week!

I say it was quite a productive evening and I can't wait for the next session!


Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

Food, wine, and langauges...straight from your profile. Makes sense that this kind of an evening would be fun for you. Did you get a renewed interest in learning the language after visiting Barcelona?

30/3/06 4:09 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

great way to learn - sounds perfect!

30/3/06 4:41 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Very good. I took Spanish in school for 4 years and can only say a few things. It seems the only way to learn is by speaking to someone. I predict success.

30/3/06 2:47 PM  
Blogger cream said...

I've just had a look at my profile and you're right Brian!
I have wanted to learn Spanish ever since we got ourselves a place in the sun about three years ago! I can understand and make myself understood but I need the practice in order to perfect the lingo.
And as Hayden and Mary say it is a great way to learn, enjoy food and wine and new friends!

30/3/06 3:20 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

You wanted a new hobbie, this is perfect. Both of you are teacher and student. I hope you get a lot out of the time you spend together.

I asked my husband if I could go on one of these Spanish dates with a handsome Spanish gentleman, he said "No!" :(

30/3/06 4:52 PM  
Blogger Viking054 said...

Ha, you're right! The only reason I'm learning any Portuguese is because I'll have to talk to the in-laws someday!

I guess it wouldn't be appropriate for you to get a Spanish girlfriend though ;)

30/3/06 7:47 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

I learnt Spanish in Argentina so it's just a bit different in pronounciation of the 'c' and also some slight grammatical differences. Back in Joburg (a few years after I left Argentina) I used to meet up with a group of very interesting bods every 2 weeks at a marvellous Spanish restaurant and we would eat, drink and kill ourselves laughing trying to bring our rusty Spanish up to scratch. It was lots of fun. Good luck and happy Spanishing.I have forgotten so much...what a pity.

30/3/06 8:16 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Que bien! We had those in Barcelona, they call them "intercambios".

30/3/06 8:58 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Ooh, Christine you're a devil! No wonder your husband refused!

Viking, you are really lucky to have an attractive incentive to learn Portuguese! Girlfriend...no, just penfriend!

Wendy, you are one of those people who are fortunate to speak many languages! I will make sure that I keep up this weekly practice! I speak Castillan Spanish, I have been told, Sardinian Italian, Cretan Greek, Southern French, Algerian Arabic and Geordie English! And a lot of rubbish, too!

Intercambios, I shall remember, Annie!

30/3/06 11:18 PM  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I've mastered the essentials of most European languages. " Hello: Goodbye: Two glasses of wine, please: Thankyou: Are you single?"

never had any problems being understood - just struggle with any conversation thereafter so resort to repeating same phrases til the Sangria/Ouzo/Grappa/Vodka etc runs out or I get a positive response to the last question.

Will rely on you when I need to ask " Do you blog?" to extend the evening further when in Spain.

31/3/06 1:21 AM  
Blogger Ale said...

oh noooo cream, you dont want to learn spanish from a barcelona dude!

31/3/06 3:09 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Ale, yes but I'm not a Babe like you!

Cherry, that's the SPIRIT!
"Dos cervezas, por favor!" I know that one!
┬┐es usted solo?
You might end up with Harrison Ford off Star Wars!

31/3/06 9:52 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

So is the next project - learning Spanish? Seems like a good use of your energy but what else are you going to be doing too?

31/3/06 2:44 PM  
Blogger juliana said...

Yes, this works. I did a kind of exchange with a guy when I was in France. We would go out and do things around my city and speak in both French and English. I got to see more of the area and aso improve my french. Bonne Chance!

1/4/06 7:36 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Caro, I'm thinking, I'm thinking!
I get my new Intuos3 A4 tablet on Monday! That's going to fill some of my spare time but what's left, I'm not sure!

Juliana, I can't wait to improve my Spanish!
Merci beaucoup!

1/4/06 8:03 PM  
Blogger Rrramone said...

Good for you! :-)

2/4/06 5:51 PM  
Blogger cave renovator said...

We live in spain and have had the odd problem with the lingo too. Having said that we are also from Newcastle originally and the missus has never had her pechugas out for a Spanish lesson!!
all good experience though, keep at it - if you can get a genuine intercambio then that will help a lot!

2/4/06 9:13 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Thanks for visiting Rrramone!

CR, do you speak Spanish with a Geordie accent?

2/4/06 10:54 PM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Hola Cream, como estas?

Is this going to be your new hobby? Learning espanol? Que bueno. So that makes how many languages you would know?

3/4/06 3:06 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Cream, your food blog is delicious but I'm never visiting it again, I have to be wiping drool off my keyboard, my hands, I'm hungry even though I just had dinner.

3/4/06 3:09 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Estoy muy bien, y tu?
Arabic, French, English, and I can hold a conversation in Italian, Greek and now Spanish... My head is going to explode...
You'll have to have a bigger dinner before visiting the food blog from now on!
Please feel free to email me some of your favourites recipes!

3/4/06 12:01 PM  
Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

Hello! Glad you'd fun in Barcelona, and that you are taking on spanish. I passed my first exam with 85% -woohoo! I am delighted! I will be online and more positive now more often because I have moved house and have internet - woohoo times two!
Take care matey

3/4/06 12:55 PM  

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