Lost in Translation

Online blog of life in Barcelona for a English guy making a life for himself out here and trying desperately to have a good time, become fluent in Spanish, and most of all - not be constantly mistaken for a tourist!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ready Steady Cook!

I've now returned from the supermarket with armfulls of incompatible foodstuffs. If Marina can suggest a recipe that can be made from a bag of apples, some yoghurts and a box of teabags, I'd be eternally grateful! The whole shopping experience was, well... an experience I suppose! Still primed and ready to learn, I homed-in on a lady on the meat counter because she was talking in the way only Spanish women can do... that's right, she was shouting at the top of her voice to an elderly customer who was a good 30 yards away at the other end of a very long counter. I figured I could pick up a few choice shopping-related phrases that might help with my next visit, but I think the shutters have been pulled down on my language-absorbtion skills for the day as I wasn't taking in anything unfortunately.

Oh, I have to tell you that I committed a minor felony in the store. On the fruit and veg section, the procedure here seems to be that you have to bag-up whatever you want and weigh it on the scales yourself (I didn't know this beforehand of course, but I eyeballed a fellow happy shopper and learnt by example). Anyway, the scales have about half a million (slight exageration, but only slight) miniscule pictures of the various products available, and it's your task as an innocent shopper to select the correct picture in order to receive a little sticker to put on your bag and be charged the correct price at the checkout. Simple really. The problem is that, in this particular supermarket, it seems a child was in charge of drawing the pictures, so everything is just a different coloured circle. It's like identifying individual M&Ms from a family-sized pack. Well, after about 30 failed attempts to locate the Granny Smiths (and overloaded with little stickers by this point) I just plumped for the cheapest one that looked a bit like an apple. It wasn't the same price as that on the shelf of course, but I was past caring by now. Anyway, I wasn't followed out of the store by the overweight security guard, and there hasn't been a knock at the door so far since, so I guess that means I don't have to consume 8 apples in the next ten minutes in order to destroy the evidence! On a brighter note, tomorrow is Friday which means I only have to work 10am until 2pm. My Spanish colleagues are green with envy at this, but this falls on deaf ears. This is what happens when your UK manager tries to convert an English working week into a Spanish one. My Mondays to Thursdays are fairly normal Spanish type hours, but by Friday, I have a massive surplus of hours to quickly get rid of, hence the early finish. Qué bien!


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