Okay, I am in Granada, and I am working on a new post for you (with pictures, of course!), but I just had to tell you about what happened in the bar tonight. I walk into Bodegas La Bella y La Bestia, admittedly a chain, but honestly the first lively (and non-tourist-filled) bar I’ve been to in several days. It is a small place (the sign near the bar says its capacity is 32 people), and it is decorated in this sort of hip, over-the-top, baroque style: gold-painted chandeliers, jaquard wallpaper with velvet and glitter, occasional hot pink neon uplighting. The bartenders all look gay to me (like, gym-gay, not fashion-gay), but who knows in a foreign country.
“Un tinto, por favor,” I say, as I find a seat at the bar.
I study the menu for a couple of minutes, slightly worried because all of the items are translated into English. A couple more minutes pass, and I give the waiter/bartender the I’m-ready-to-order eye, and he says in English, “tapas coming”.
“Okay…,” I think.
Now, I have heard that in southern Spain, it is somewhat common to receive a (free) tapa with your drink order. In my head, this looked like a small order of patatas bravas or a little pile of meat (ha, another post to come on the meat situation, too). Instead, what I got with three glasses of wine was:
Primero: montadito (a small grilled sandwich) con jamon y queso, pasta salad, patatas con (hm…) ketchup and garlic mayonnaise.
Segundo: another montadito with what looked like my red clam sauce, another kind of fried potato, olives.
Tercero: montadito con tortilla espanola (potato omelette), olives, house-made potato chips.
Do you want to guess how much all of this cost?
“La cuenta, por favor,” I asked the bartender.
Oh! I forgot to mention: when I first sat down and ordered my wine, after the first bartender told me my tapas were on the way, another bartender attempted to make polite conversation with me. Now, I am getting along just fine with the language barrier as long as we are following the usual, “what will you have”, “I’ll have the x, y, and z”, “how much do I owe you”, “here’s your bill”, “gracias”, “de nada” script. But this guy was way off that path and I had no idea what to say except, “no comprendo”, and “lo siento”. At some point, he told me “su Espanol es muy mal”, and I wondered if he thought I wouldn’t understand that either, but whatever. I was getting the tapas with my drinks, remember?
Also, until they switched over to the futbol game, we were watching some channel called “Classic 40”, which played the following videos:
- “Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word”, Blue con Elton John
- That Natalie Imbruglia song
- “You Gotta Be”, Des’ree (who knew I would ever be happy to hear that song again?)
- “Karma Chameleon”, Boy George
- Something by Maroon 5
- Oh! And it was about to be “Black or White” – the full version with Norm and Macaulay Culkin! – just as someone asked to turn the channel
Okay, so are you ready for the bill?