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#46548 - 01/23/02 12:45 PM Today I learnt some Spanish ??
desmo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 25
Loc: El Escorial, Madrid
Today its raining in Escorial, my washing has been out for 3 days now. I took the dogs for a walk as usual to the park behind the Monastory. As usual all I ventured was "ola" to other dog walkers, I did not dare broach the subject by saying my other bit of Spanish "Buenas" fearing that as it was not particularly "buenas" I might end up being drawn into a converstaion. I am always ready with "no habla Espagnol" its a pity but people shie away when I utter those words. Its good for the beggars in Madrid - all except one who spoke impeccable English..........

After a week of being on my own (Maria is in Ecuador) I just HAD to get out, do some shopping, I needed my staples. Beer, Cidra, Butter,Milk and something other than homemade pizza and pasta - all you need do is drop it in 500ml of boiling water.

I went to the local DIA which I had hoped would be closed the I could scuttle away and not have to face the locals and worse explain that I "no comprende". Alas it was open. Ok leche entera, semidesnadata, all confusing because I go by the colours of the carton. They are opposite what I get in the UK, RED is WHOLE milk, I remembered my loving wifes words as she gave me some Europounds - just in case. Yup got it RED, whole milk. Milk with nothing taken away, all the bad stuff for hearts and cholesterol inclusiv.

On my way out I espy some chicken, pollo, or is that octopus ? Looks like chicken - I ma going to roast me a chicken for supper, declared the foolish English voice in my head.

Aha pollo quarters, pollo breast, ah POLLO ENTERA, neat price only 3 Europounds, wassat in real money ?? Ok it'll do, tonight we feast.

Feeling well pleased at not being thrown in jail on my first major solo excursion to the shops I rushed away with my purchases. I had of course hovered around until no-one was at the checkout, just in case someone spoke to me - ola, buenas have you got a coin for the trolley , that sort of thing. Jees I was almost blown away when the girl asked me about bolsa's . I wagged my finger at the trolley to show I had got some carriers, it seemed to pacify her enough to get on with doing other check out stuff. I paid, no major probs, I think smile

Ok, the whole point of my meandering , the chicken sits on the counter waiting for my attentions. Seems that ENTERA is good for what it means, my chicken was indeed ENTERA. So much ENTERA it still had feet, it still had its ENTERA head on its ENTERA neck. And inside was its ENTERA gizzard, liver, heart and who knows what else.

I think it will sit on the counter for a little while longer ...............

Overall : pleased at plucking ( no pun intended) up the courage to actually do something other than surf all day. Have added a new word to my vocabulary, one I wont forget.


MM : do I win story of the mes ????

laugh
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"I am not a number, I am a free man"

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#46549 - 01/23/02 02:05 PM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Good shopping story, desmo!
Quote:
MM : do I win story of the mes ????
If you're asking about my "call for Madrid stories" it has to be about Madrid. Sorry. frown
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#46550 - 01/23/02 02:21 PM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
desmo,

Nevertheless you get my vote as being about as "kitchen savvy" and "Spanish fluent" as I am. My wife is constantly telling me that I'm the only person that could scald water when he boils it - eek Of course my first response is to say, "HEY! I resemble that remark!"

She now makes up plates of "leftovers" for me to nuke each day, and there's specific instructions attached to the things on post-its. I just put them on the cabinet by the microwave and have at it. Of course I call it a cooking triumph.

Back to the frozen pizza - rolleyes My last venture with that included what turned out to be something that produced enough plumes of smoke that they overcame the ability of the exhaust fan over the oven to do its job. End result? Every smoke alarm in the house went off, and I'm standing around with half the windows open, and it's below freezing outside, wondering if the smoke billowing out the windows is going to draw the fire department to our house "AGAIN!," because of my cooking.

This whole thing is making me hungry. Maybe I'll just go in and whup up a pizza. Even those that I get right taste worse than the famous "TelePizza"/frizzbies I've had in Spain.

Wolf (Whose culinary skills abandoned him before he even learnt how to boil water right! frown )

[ 01-23-2002: Message edited by: Wolf ]

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#46551 - 01/23/02 02:41 PM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
desmo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 25
Loc: El Escorial, Madrid
Ok MM how about this.................

Today its raining in MADRID, my washing has been out for 3 days now. I took the dogs for a walk as usual to the MADRIDS RETIRO PARK . As usual all I ventured was "ola" to other dog walkers, I did not dare broach the subject by saying my other bit of Spanish "Buenas" fearing that as it was not particularly "buenas" I might end up being drawn into a converstaion. I am always ready with "no habla Espagnol" its a pity but people shie away when I utter those words. Its good for the beggars in MADRID - .
_________________________
"I am not a number, I am a free man"

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#46552 - 01/23/02 03:07 PM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
desmo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 25
Loc: El Escorial, Madrid
Wolf, thanks for your vote - I must be winning now.

maybe we should have "culinary disaster within a 50 kms radius of Madrid Story of the month"..

I think MM is a liitle bit harsh on me, I mean I do live in the county,province or whatever it is of Madrid, and I do go when I am commanded too.


Of course as this thread is about shopping maybe i should tell about LAST week when I cornered a guy in a computer shop, I dunno who wanted to shoot who the most but in the end I got the wall socket for my RJ45 network extension........poor man !!!!!!

And in the local electronico domestico ....
Have you ever tried to explain that you need twin phono / RCA cable with 3.5 mm jack at the other end. Aint no phrase book got that in.

Coincidentally it rained that night too.

Hasta Luego Wolf
_________________________
"I am not a number, I am a free man"

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#46553 - 01/23/02 03:42 PM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
desmo,

I tried "plugging your phrase,"twin phono / RCA cable with 3.5 mm jack at the other end," into the Altavista online Babelfish translator, and it came out as shown below.

cable gemelo del phono / RCA con el gato de 3,5 milímetros en el otro extremo.

When I translated it back to English it didn't quite look the same, but I guess it would work. I suppose that's why people look at me funny in Spain when I throw one of those Babelfish translated phrases at them, from English... rolleyes

By the way, I finished making that pizza. It didn't turn out nearly as bad as I expected. Are they supposed to have cold centers, and frozen pepperoni on them? wink

Wolf (Who checked the package to see if it was called a "popsicle" pizza - smile )

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#46554 - 01/23/02 04:00 PM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
Fernando Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Madrid, Spain
That story was very funny desmo wink

"twin phono / RCA cable with 3.5 mm jack at the other end" should be "cable RCA de doble canal con una clavija de 3,5 mm en el otro extremo" (it's very difficult!).

But in El Escorial you may go to the Gigante Supermarket or to the Carrefour of Villalba. Then you may find the cable for yourself hang somwhere in the market. Thus you won't have to explain it to anyone wink

Anyway, why do you think is embarrasing not to speak spanish? Noone is born knowing everything... You will find that it is usually that when you say "No hablo español" someone will start speaking in english... Also, the number of forgeiners in El Escorial is quite high.

Regards.

Fernando

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#46555 - 01/24/02 07:03 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
desmo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 25
Loc: El Escorial, Madrid
Hey Fernando.
I get lost in Carrefour, and always end up with loads of other stuff I dont need and forget what I went in for. I am just a country boy, born and raised in the sticks. The bright lights and stuff hypnotise me into doing strange unnatural acts ..... like spend money.

Actually the local Electronico Domestico has a load of little trays all stacked against the wall tucked away behind the counter. Inside are magical things, switches,connectors...............
multimeters,(dunno why but on a recent audit I realised I had 5 multimeters)soldering irons................
Oooooooooooh - I just wanted to look officer

To update: the aforementioned pollo is well n truly roasted sans its appendages.

Now it looks like the fish man left the heads on my trout. So they'll be watching me with those sad eyes as I wield my chopper (oops can I say that here), can I eat them after decapitating them ???? maybe I'll have the fish steak I bought, communication broke down ENTERA ly at that point. I think its swordfish, but who knows.

Incidentally I dined on a chip butty and later on opened a packet of 500ml easy to cook pasta in cheese sauce. The gremlins snuck up on me again, I figured that what looked like a half pint mug MUST be 500ml.
Oh for leftovers cooked nice and crisp in the micronde .

Hasta manana
_________________________
"I am not a number, I am a free man"

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#46556 - 01/24/02 07:06 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
desmo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 25
Loc: El Escorial, Madrid
Hey wolf.

Quote:
By the way, I finished making that pizza. It didn't turn out nearly as bad as I expected. Are they supposed to have cold centers, and frozen pepperoni on them?


I figure if the cheese is all gooey and its all stuck to the bottom of the oven its ready
_________________________
"I am not a number, I am a free man"

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#46557 - 01/24/02 07:40 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
El Boqueron Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/00
Posts: 448
Loc: UK
Desmo - the reason people flee when you tell them "no habla espanyol" may be because it means "YOU don't speak Spanish"! wink

On one of my first trips to Spain when I was struglling to order a beer I was told the following joke (in Spanish) which seems to me to sum up the plight of the novice.

Little Pepe knows only one thing, how to order a glass of vermouth (vermut). So every day he goes to his local bar...
"Un vermut!"
The camarero gives him his glass of vermouth and Pepito is happy. But one day Pepe gets tired of drinking vermouth and resolves to try something else. After much effort he learns to say "un cafe" to ask for a coffee. Having mastered the expression he goes to the bar, and proudly approaches the counter...
"Un cafe!!"
The camarero stares at him...
"?Solo, o con leche?"
Pepe stares back...
"Un vermut!!"

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#46558 - 01/24/02 08:43 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
Fernando Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Madrid, Spain
I'm still laughing desmo... laugh

Yet, never mind to speak some words in spanish. If all who were to speak a new language (as myslef with english) would care the times some "nice" guy has make me feel like an idiot noonw would speak forgein languages wink

Asterault, that "chiste" is very funny wink

Desmo, one last advice: Many products in the supermarket have also the information (ingredients, contents, etc) in english, check 'em out!

Fernando

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#46559 - 01/24/02 10:23 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
El Boqueron,

Hey! Desmo and I can relate to that story. I'm scared to death to order most anything in a bar, afraid that I may have opted for water straight from the sink where they're washing dishes. I've become quite adept at pointing at pictures, or something someone else is drinking, and saying, "Por favor?"

Even that could get scary, if the barkeep walks over and picks up the person's drink, and sets it in front of you - eek !

I did learn another thing that is different from here in the States. We fondle the veggies, like tomatoes, by picking them up and inspecting them to insure we get the "best available." If you do that in Spain, you just bought the tomato. I nearly had to hire a truck to haul all the fresh veggies back to the house the first time I was in a grocery store. We had salads the size of France for several days. eek

Wolf (Who is put in a straight-jacket by his wife now, when he goes into a Spanish grocery store - rolleyes )

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#46560 - 01/24/02 10:59 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1674
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes Brilliant repartee guys! laugh laugh laugh
Puna (who can identify with far too much of this thread) rolleyes
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emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte
http://www.wendycrawfordwrites.com/

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#46561 - 01/24/02 12:17 PM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
desmo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 25
Loc: El Escorial, Madrid
El Boqueron, Wolf ,and now Puma.

Looks like I got a freindly bunch here.

That thing about the vermouth had me in chuckles, LMAO . Yep it must of happened to me several times, you see all the nice things in the bakeries, they positively lure you an the ole craving kicks in. You gaze lovingly at the sights, you want to taste to touch to smell. You can imagine the smooth taste as it caresses you taste buds, the textures, the fragrances, absorbing the sweet nectars of the local gastronomic culture.

Your turn comes at the counter, greetings are exchanged, the excitement builds within you, this time you will do it!!!


The words are echoing in your mind, whirling and dancing, tantalising you, teasing you they form, you open your mouth to speak.........


"por favor, un empanado atun"
" es todo ?"
Faces stare, the world is closing in on you. You must escape......

"No Gracias", fumble with money, dont check the change, swift exit.

feed emapanado to dog

Next time...................
_________________________
"I am not a number, I am a free man"

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#46562 - 01/25/02 01:53 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
seul6 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 35
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
Desmo, I'm in stiches !

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#46563 - 01/25/02 08:05 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
desmo, you are TOO much!
Similar story: I was at the local latino market here in Columbus, always excited to go and use my spanish when checking out. So there I was, waiting in line, and a gentleman came up behind me and asked to the group, "¿Quien es la última?" I, proudly understanding his question and ready for the reply I answered simply, "Yo." The smiled, slightly chuckled, then turned and mumbled something to the person at his side.

So there I was, leaving, all proud of myself for understanding all the questions. I oh-so-proudly told my madrileña ladyfriend of the situation, telling her how exhilarating it was to "understand" finally, telling her of the short exchange in dialogue and she started LAUGHING and LAUGHING! I asked WHY she was laughing so much and she said that when I replied "Yo" to his "¿Quien es la última?" question that I was admitting to being a WOMAN! "WHAT?!", I asked!! She said his question, being feminine in "la última", I was saying that *I* was "the last woman" in line. THEN, she stopped laughing, and said, maybe trying to spare my now-crumbling confidence, "Well, maybe he was asking, 'Who is the last PERSON', as in "¿Quien es la última PERSONA?" I felt only somewhat relieved, not knowing the man's true intentions with the question.

Apparently, the correct response in this situation would have been, "Soy el último" as in "I'm the last man" in line.

Ahhh.. fun with language. rolleyes Saludos, MadridMan

[ 01-25-2002: Message edited by: MadridMan ]
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#46564 - 01/25/02 10:36 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
El Boqueron Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/00
Posts: 448
Loc: UK
Alternative ending to the Tale of Desmo and the Empanada...

"Es todo?"
"er..si! Quanto es?"
"(incomprehensible) duros"

Our hero is now sweating freely as waiting locals look on. What's a "duro"?! Takes out 10,000 peseta note to be on the safe side, and hands it over.

The shopkeeper stares at the note...
"?No tiene nada mas pequenyo?"
Complete panic sets in...Only one thing for it...
"No habla espanyol".

Murmurs of general indignation as the shopkeeper tries to find 9,950 ptas in change. Our hero flees adding the change to the 3 kilos of coins already jangling in his pockets...

wink wink

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#46565 - 01/25/02 10:37 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
taravb Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/22/01
Posts: 743
Loc: Ames, Iowa, USA
I had a great time with my husband at an olive stand in Avila, bustling among the ladies asking "who's last?" He was baffled...there seemed to be no rhyme or reason, and it took him a LONG time to figure out that all you needed to do was know who was the last person before you...once you know that, you just watch them and wait for them to be served. Once they are, you're next!

And the person who's after YOU will be sure to nudge you right up to the front because SHE (or, in your case, he) won't want to lose her place either! I like this SO much better than waiting in line at the bakery or wherever in America, where NOBODY talks and you are never quite sure who's supposed to be served next!

And MM, it's good to know you're in touch with your feminine side.

laugh

[ 01-25-2002: Message edited by: taravb ]

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#46566 - 01/26/02 10:16 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1674
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
El Boqueron you just detailed the easiest way in the world to spot a visitor!!! And, it had nothing to do with ragged jeans and sweatshirts (sort 'a) wink

[ 01-26-2002: Message edited by: Puna ]
_________________________
emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte
http://www.wendycrawfordwrites.com/

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#46567 - 01/26/02 02:24 PM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
desmo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 25
Loc: El Escorial, Madrid
Hi folks, sorry got to rush off to UK tomorrow as dad not so well.


Been a good laugh, lets do it again soon
_________________________
"I am not a number, I am a free man"

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#46568 - 01/28/02 10:52 AM Re: Today I learnt some Spanish ??
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
I LOVE the "quien era el ultimo", such a logical system! In the small town i summered in, in Galicia, it was always "Eu" (gallego for YO). I had great fun saying EU when I was la ultima.

Ah, but at the museo del jamon in Madrid, you take a number!

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