Thursday, March 18, 2010


The following conversations in SPANISH THROUGHOUT were recently held between a very friendly bar waitress and myself in a cafe in Estación San Roque.

Me: A beer please.

Waitress: A coffee?

Me: A beer please.

Waitress: A white coffee?

Me: A beer – I’ll have a beer without alcohol.

Waitress: You want a coffee with no milk.

Me: I want a beer!

Fridge door is opened and a bottle of Cruzcampo is waived in my direction. I nod my ascent.

Waitress: Are you English?

Me: Yes.

Waitress: Sorry I don’t speak English.

15minutes later:

Me: Do you have red wine?

Waitress: You want another beer?

Me: Do you have red wine?

Waitress: You want a coffee?

Me: Do you have a Rioja.

Waitress: A Rioja no. I have this red wine – do you want it with white lemonade.

Me: No – I’ll have another beer.

Waitress: Sorry, I don’t speak English.

15 minutes later:

Me: Can I have the bill please.

Waitress: You want another beer?

Me: Can I have the bill please.

Waitress: You want a coffee?

Me: I want the bill! The bill!

Waitress: Oh you want the bill – sorry I don’t speak English.

I should add that between the above conversations I spoke to a seven-year-old girl who I suspect is the daughter of the cafe’s owner. She told me very proudly she spoke English. We had a couple of brief chats – I spoke to her in Spanish – she replied in English. We understood each other perfectly.

There must be a moral to this story – but for the life of me I haven’t a clue what it is.


Anonymous said...

Loved it - happened to me too so many times.

Mary said...

I remember one night at the Hotel, our little Philipine waitress was asked
for two margaritas, 20 minutes later she puffed her way out of the kitchen with two pizzas.
I don´t think it was the same night, but when I took back the avocado prawns one table had returned demanding rose marie sauce, she nearly poured roast
beef gravy on them, salsa żno? ..Noooo!

CraftyPip said...

On the other side of the coin, when we went on honeymoon a good few years ago and stayed at one of the top hotels on Corfu, we experienced quite the opposite of misunderstandings.
Staying at the same hotel were a somewhat eldrly couple who always dressed to the nines when attending dinner each evening.(Totally put us to shame, but what did we care...)
We were usually sitting at a nearby table and one evening the couple chose gazpacho as a starter and, soon after being served their food, the lady called over the waitress. The waitress asked if everything was alright, with which the lady said " This soup is cold". At this point the girl looked away in an attempt not to smile, only to meet our grinning faces which didn´t help her at all. The food was duely changed for something more to the couples´liking.
The story doesn´t end there, the following evening, who should we end up sitting next to in the resturant?...Yes you´ve guessed it ..the same couple. They ordered calamari provencal as a starter, but after some moments the lady again called over the waitress, who just so happened to be the same girl as the day before. I think that you can guess the way that this is going, again the lady complained about the food saying that the dish tasted fishy. The waitress was professional about the situation even thought the couple on the table next to them were desperately trying to stiffle the welling laughter and trying not to catch her eye.
These are the events that make the lighter side of life and worthwhile waiting for the next to occur.