Tuesday, October 30, 2007
A Japanese Lunch in Spanish
I may not have mentioned this before, but I'm taking a Spanish class. It's kind of an obvious thing to do, living in a Spanish city. Speaking the language, as you can imagine, is helpful.
Actually, my class is a little more than just a class. It's four hours of Spanish a day. And, between discussions of the subjunctive tense and what it means to be a putero, you get to know people. As it happens, the people in question are virtually all girls. Beautiful French, Swedish and Brazilian girls learning a foreign language. Oh, and one gregarious 60 year old American stock broker whose name is Tom--Tom, who is a very happy man.
Now, don't misunderstand, I'm still telling people to close down the sea port instead of shut the door, to shoot instead of disappear and that there's a masturbator outside my window instead of a bird. The subtleties of the language have not caught up with me, as it were. But at least I know that I may not be perfectly understood.
By way of continuing on my path toward self-improvement (at least in Spanish), the other day I suggested to my classmates that we continue our Spanish conversation over lunch. We settled on Japanese, fearing that so much Spanish may be demasiado.
We were all girls--two French, one Brazilian, one Swedish, one Romanian, one Japanese and me, the Canadian. Tom, I think in fear for his own well being, declined to join us.
Between the 7 of us, we spoke 12 languages perfectly, none of them Spanish. The situation was complicated by the fact that some of us also only had a passing acquaintance with Japanese cuisine. We were all, however, very enthusiastic.
All this the waiter at Kibuka (C/Verdi 64, tel. 93 415 9217) came to understand quickly. While he wore a slightly stunned looked for most of the meal, the man was also a paragon of patience and good humour. We got more or less what we wanted, none of the mistakes being the fault of the waiter, you understand. We learned the word erizo (hedgehog)--for the shape of the sushi. We got to know the details of each other's love lives. And our broken but sincere Spanish was like a free trip to the comedy club for the other diners.
We have plans to repeat the experience.