Sunday, February 24, 2013

Losses in Translation

Language barriers make the easiest tasks become hikes to Mt. Everest. For instance, trying to tell someone how you almost locked yourself out of your apartment becomes a 2 hour long Odyssey monologue. Painful, long, and really awkward to hear. Luckily, I haven't had too many serious mishaps yet. But language barriers can quickly go from something comedic to serious, especially if you're dealing with things like allergies, electronic malfunctions, or taxi/bus driver directions. So far, my language barrier experiences have been the "shake my head in shame" kind, and not the "crap, do I need to call the US embassy?!" kind. 
  • In Cordoba last week, two high school classmates who are studying abroad in France and London came down to Córdoba for a day trip. It was really fun showing them around and getting tapas with them. While ordering tapas from Casa Santos, a tapas place well known around town, I tried getting myself a cup of vino blanco but ended up with fino, which is a wine unique to Cordoba. It has kind of a weird fishy taste and isn't my favorite drink. When I took my cup and took my first sip, I thought, god damnit, I got stuck with fino AGAIN!? This has definitely happened to me more than once. Sigh.

    This is what a NOT free "tapa" looks like
  • In Granada this past weekend, I was getting tapas for lunch and was trying to figure out which ones were free to choose from with my wine. Accidentally ended up ordering a 9 euro entry somehow, while thinking it was a free tapa the entire time. Ouch for my wallet, but at least it was really delicious for my tummy.
  • Again in Granada, I accidentally, not knowingly, ate brains. We were eating at a very well known and delicious restaurant called Casa Juanillo (It's in the Sacromonte district-up in the mountains by the gypsy caves and a gorgeous view of the Alhambra). There weren't too many vegetarian options, but I see "Tortilla de Sacromonte" and decide to order that. Tortilla is really common in Andaluz and is just eggs and potato cooked into a nice, spongy, cake-type thing. What I got though was different from any tortilla I've seen. It was much for thin, like the egg "bing" I was used to eating from my parents. No problem. I eat my tortilla thinking nothing of it. It is pretty good, nice and spongy and flavorful. I guess I never caught the part where our waiter jokingly told us "there is a surprise ingredient but I won't tell you what it is until after you eat the food." HONESTLY, if I had caught him saying that, I wouldn't have gone within 10 feet of the plate. Maybe it is because I'm chinese and I come from a culture of people who eat weird and disgusting things (I.E fish brain, blech!!!), but that sentence right there is the dead giveaway that you are about to consume an internal organ. But no, OF COURSE, I didn't hear or understand him saying that. Which is how I ended up eating goat brains in my tortilla.
Let me just repeat myself one more time for emphasis.

During my trip to Granada, I ate goat brains.

You know what, I forgot what the original point of this post was. Now I can't stop thinking about the goat brains again.

The end. 

1 comment:

  1. There is an old saying in China (old sayings in China are always truth!) that what you eat nourishes what inside you. So it is good.