OK so I am in Barcelona, kind of. Nearly. Well actually, I’m in between the city and a lovely little town around 10kn north called Montmelo; home to Circuit de Catalunya and venue for the second winter testing session of the 2013 Formula One Grand Prix. Coincidence?…
By the time I arrived earlier, it was a bit late to get the train down into the city, so I decided to stay local and do a recce to locate the station (so I know where I’m going tomorrow). Why are there so many patisseries in Montmelo? Seriously won’t need any dinner this evening then…
So with a route plan for the morning, iPhone photos of the train timetables on the wall, and a sense of de ja vous (convinced I walked round the same block at least twice?) I’m now back at the hotel enjoying a quiet drink at the hotel bar. Well I was, until a bunch of rowdy Red Bulls arrived! It would appear that RBR are also staying here and, in the space of a few minutes, the place is transformed from a quiet hotel where I feel guilty speaking in Spanish, let along English… (the language here is Catalan, which is like a mixture of French and Spanish, for example, ‘please’ is ‘si us plau’ as opposed to ‘por favore’) …now suddenly I’m surrounded by people of all nationalities all speaking English (and unfortunately expecting the poor hotel staff to do the same). I’m sure the staff don’t mind this, but it’s a pet hate of mine!
English – the world’s favourite language / our most lazy option
In my humble opinion, if we’re in their country, we should be speaking (or at least trying to speak) their language. My European colleagues at work often tell me they actually like speaking English as it helps them practice. But it makes me feel ignorant or lazy, so I always at least try to have a go. Needless to say this generally attracts a giggle of the ‘Allo ‘Allo variety, (I’ve regularly been heard mixing Spanish and Italian with amusing results) but hey I like to entertain, even if not intentionally! And I don’t care what my European colleagues say; whilst they may indeed be practicing their English, they also react very positively and supportively when I make the effort to reciprocate.
Right, having said I needed no dinner this evening, I’ve now polished off the entire dish of pistachios which the cheeky Spanish barman casually presented in front of me, and my glass is almost empty… San Miguel? Don’t mind if I do!