Saturday, July 14, 2007

Of pride and the fall

So this evening, for dinner, I went back to the ribs place. I had bought my copy of El País, and alternated during dinner between reading what the Spaniards think of David Foster Wallace's latest offering "Hablamos de Langostas" (Consider the Lobster) and watching the E-Spanish bersion of that ever-popular American TV staple - the woman who is so fat that she is unable to get out of bed. Parenthetical note - by American standards, the E-spanish señora was a mere piker, weighing in at a puny 210 kg, not even coming close to the 500-pound mark; they don't even pay attention on the Maury Povitch show unless someone is at least 900 lb and needs assistance breaking down the wall of the trailer in order to get out of bed.

Anyway, the ribs were juicy, the waiter was friendly, helping me with vocabulary words, and I was feeling pretty good about my life in general, and my Spanish knowledge in particular. Can you spell P - R - I - D - E ?

The waiter returns with the dessert menu. Nothing piques my appetite, so I decide instead to have a liqueur. With unwarranted self-satisfaction, I order a Drambuie with "un poquito de helado". The waiter seems surprised? Am I sure? Mutual confusion for a half a minute or so, until the penny finally drops. The word for "ice" is not "helado", dammit, it's "hielo".

Though, come to think of it, Drambuie and ice-cream sounds like a pretty decent combination too.

At least the waiter was kind enough not to offer to bring me the English version of the menu.

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