The most important Spanish lesson of your life

Forget that the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. The guys don’t speak a lot of British over here. They couldn’t care less how well rounded your pronounication might be. It’s all about espanol. In order to assist, if you should you ever find yourself in these neck of the woods, here are the most important phrases to learn when conversing with a Spanish bartender.

“Hola, como estas?”

This phrase prepares the soil for the rest of the evening. It’s a simple hello, how are you? Botch this up and you might as well leave now. It’s considered a friendly greeting when said in a upbeat, smiling tone. It also proves that your mother didn’t raise an animal.

“Una cerveza, por favor.” Or alternatively, “Un vino tinto, por favor.”

Either one of the phrases will work and can be used more than once throughout the evening. It’s how you order a drink. If your taste falls outside of wine and beer, I cant help you. Google translate might. Do you now understand the importance of a friendly greeting? No one likes to serve alcohol to a dick. So don’t be one. You will be called out irrespective of where you come from. They’re disliked no matter what language you may speak.

“Donde esta el banjo?”

When you consume liquid the liver absorbs what it can and dumps the rest in your kidneys, if you still have both. (Kidney, if you’ve found yourself the morning after, floating in an ice-filled bath with a cut on the left side of your lower abdomen.) And you can’t just stand up and piss against the bar. That’s rude. Unless you have a catheter. You need to get up and pee like the rest of us. In a urinal. And that’s what this phrase is used for. Another benefit of walking to el banjo is that when you hit a wall on the way there, you know it’s time to go home.

“Buena noches.”

That’s when you say goodbye to all the lovely people you didn’t meet and the idiots you did. It’s normally used when you’ve hit the wall or ran out of Euros. Beware of the fresh air when you leave the warm and cozy bar, it’s gonna bitch slap you across the face on the way out. Because with “fresh” I mean frigging freezing. Especially if you are in Reinosa. In Bilbao the weather is much, much better. In the former city I’ve felt what it’s like when hell freezes over.

For extra points…

“Donde esta la farmacia?”

Technically this is not something you would say to a bartender but rather to a conscierge of the hotel. It won’t bother you during your evening of soaking up the local culture. But if you used phrase number two a little more than you intended, you might be looking for an aspirin to kill the heavy metal band rocking their shit in the middle of your skull. Not that it ever happens to yours truly. *insert cough from the Wife* And that last phrase might save you from an unnecessarily long walk.

And don’t be fooled by the sun. He never goes to bed. At least not before nine. And when he does, Jack Frost comes out to play.

And that concludes our Spanish lesson for the day. It’s my pleasure.

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