Getting It All In Español, Part 4

, , , , | Right | June 22, 2020

My wife and I are on a coach tour in Spain. We are at the bar in our hotel for the night in a town that is a bit off of the beaten track. My Spanish isn’t very good but I know a few words. 

Another member of the tour is ordering at the bar. This member has been a bit loud and obnoxious.

Tourist: “Can I have two beers?”

The barman answers in Spanish. My Spanish isn’t good but I work out that he’s saying something about not speaking English.

Tourist: “I don’t understand Spanish. Can I have two beers?”

The barman repeats what he previously said.

Me: *To the tourist* “I think he’s saying that he doesn’t understand English.”

Tourist: *To me* “Oh, okay.”

The tourist turns to the barman, in English, but putting on a Spanish accent.

Tourist: “TWO… BEERS… PLEASE!”

The barman repeats what he previously said, again.

Me: *To the tourist* “To ask for two beers in Spanish, you need to say—”

Tourist: *Cutting me off* “Oh, we haven’t got time to learn a different language!”

The tourist storms off. I turn to the barman and speak in broken Spanish.

Me: “One coffee and one beer, please.”

Barman: *In perfect English* “One coffee and one beer coming up. Is there anything else?”

I just burst into fits of laughter and bought the barman a drink.

Related:
Getting It All In Español, Part 3
Getting It All In Español, Part 2
Getting It All In Español

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Why DID They Have Belly Buttons?

, , , , | Learning | May 23, 2020

I’m a private English tutor in Spain, and from time to time I help my students with other subjects they are also being taught in English.

During an intense lesson in science and the reproductive system:

Me: “So, do you remember what we said about Adam and Eve, and why they have a belly button?”

Student: “Yes, I do. I also asked about it in religion class.”

Me: “Oh, really? And what did they say?”

Student: “The nun kicked me out!”

I high-fived him. Hard not to laugh! Question authority, little man!

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Not In Any Hurry To Make A Deal

, , , , , | Working | April 11, 2020

(We are three students looking for a new flat. I work not very far from campus, but we decide to try and stay in our hometown. I’ve been asking around for some time and I’ve finally found something that I like. I call to set a time and a date.)

Me: “You see, I finish work at 7:00, and I need about fifty minutes to get to the place and find parking. I think we could meet at 8:00?”

Agent: “Fine, we can meet next week there at 7:45.”

Me: “But I just told you…”

Agent: “Can’t you just get out of work ten minutes earlier?”

(I don’t like this at all, but being very anxious about confrontation, I agree. I also tell her my boyfriend and flatmate will be coming, too. Fast forward to the day of the meeting: I manage to get out fifteen minutes earlier, but there is not only a small jam on the way, it’s also August on a very sunny afternoon, and the flat is within thirty meters of the beach. I reach the place at 7:30 but need twenty minutes to find a parking spot. Meanwhile, my boyfriend and flatmate have arrived at the door of the apartment building at around 7:30 and are waiting for me and the agent. When I finally park and pick up my phone, I see four missing calls from the agent, starting at exactly 7:30. I call her.)

Me: “Uh, hi, I…” 

Agent: “You forgot our appointment!”

Me: “No, I didn’t. I’m just five minutes late.”

Agent: “I’ve been waiting for you since 7:30.”

Me: “Sorry, what? I told you I was out of work at 7:00 and needed almost an hour to get there; you were the one who insisted on meeting at 7:45.”

Agent: “Well, I’ve been waiting for you for 20 minutes and now I’m not there anymore.”

Me: “Excuse me?! What do you mean, you’re not there anymore?”

Agent: “I have another appointment now.”

Me: “And what did you expect? To show me the flat in five minutes?”

Agent: “Well, don’t be like that. We can meet on some other day; you just have to actually leave work early this time.”

Me: “No. No. I don’t think we will.”

(I ended the call and refused to pick it back up when she called back. I picked my boyfriend and flatmate up to go home. They told me they had been waiting since 7:30, and that there was a woman, too, across the street, looking at them. She never approached them, despite them being in the precise place she’d told me to wait at, and she left way before 7:45. Despite this, and some other occurrences that I’ll submit at another time, we found a place. Without “help”.)

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How Dare You Have Preferences?!

, , , , , | Working | April 10, 2020

(I’m a uni student and I just started working at my family’s courier. Both the campus and my job are about ten minutes apart but in a different city from where my boyfriend — also a student — and I live. We live about a one-hour commute away, driving on a road very prone to jams, accidents, and in general making people late. I’ve been searching for a flat closer for about two months when I spot one I like that allows pets, which is a must since we have a cat. I call the agency five times during their open hours, at two different numbers they provided in the ad, but they never answer. Two days later, an unknown number calls in the middle of work, at an hour the ad stated they weren’t open.)

Me: “Hello?” 

Agent: “Good morning! We had a missing call from this number.” 

Me: “Oh, you must be from [Agency]! Yes, I wanted to ask about that flat in [Street] and…”

Agent: “Well, sadly, that’s been rented off for a month already.”

(The ad was from a month ago and didn’t say such when I last checked it.)

Me: “Oh, well, that’s a shame. Do you happen to have anything in the area? I need a place that allows pets, by the way.”

Agent: “Of course! We have something lovely in [Street in the dead center of the city, as opposed to the outskirts area I was interested in] at [nearly double the price].”

Me: “Um… Sorry, but I was actually looking for something nearer the campus.” 

Agent: “What? You can’t expect to find a student housing that allows pets.” 

Me: “I… don’t? I want something for the whole year, someplace that won’t just kick us out in June to rent it at double the price for tourists.”

Agent: “Well, then, the place I just told you is just what you want.” 

Me: “No, I don’t want to drive around the middle of the city to go to class everyday.”

Agent: “Well, you can just take the bus.” 

Me: *rather incredulously* “I… Sorry, no? My boyfriend is disabled and he can’t just stand by on the bus for a whole hour and a half.”

Agent: “He could just sit!” 

Me: “At that hour in the morning? Besides, he doesn’t want to have to argue with old people about who are entitled to use the special seats.”

Agent: “Well, he can just kick them out!” 

Me: “Sorry, what?!”

(I mean, she is not wrong, but don’t just say that, dude!) 

Me: “No, sorry. No. I really want something nearer the campus.”

(We go back and forth for a while, and I force her to progressively pull things from closer to the area I want, until…)

Me: “Okay, that sounds really nice. And that closed gallery you told me about sounds perfect for our cat.”

Agent: “Cat? No! It doesn’t allow pets.” 

(In the end, I found something. Without her help.)

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They Should Have Taken Note(book)

, , , , | Working | March 26, 2020

My mum and I go to the bank to get some cash and she notices her notebook — the one connected to the bank account that you can use to take out money — only has one page left.

We walk over to the desk and she asks the girl for a new one, giving her the old notebook inside the case. The case she has was issued many years ago, and because we keep everything at our house, we are still using it. It’s quite old; in fact it has the name of a bank that no longer exists on it, but it’s made of thick plastic and it works great. It’s also a bit wider than the ones issued nowadays so it’s more comfortable when you need to carry lots of stuff.

The girl from the bank issues a new notebook and gives the old one to my mum, who is now holding the old case so she can put the new notebook in. The girl sees it, grabs the case from her hand, and holds it over the bin while saying, “Oh, that’s an old one; I’ll give you another one,” and then proceeds to drop it in the trash.

My mum and I must look so shocked to have some stranger grab it out of her hand and throw it away that she offers to get it back for us. We say no, though, because who knows what was in the trash?

I’ve dealt with her before, and I can assure this is not because she had an off day. It’s a pity to see someone with no social skills deal with people every day.

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