Acting Out My Time in Barcelona
Category : Travel
My husband and I were spending several days in Barcelona, Spain before we traveled around the Mediterranean into France and finally Italy. We landed in Barcelona after connecting from a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Frankfurt, Germany.
Like any traveler crossing several time zones, we were exhausted when we landed. However, our rule when taking an overnight flight to Europe is just to bear through the obvious exhaustion and make it through a full day before “crashing.” Typically, we never have a problem with this because we are too excited to explore the sights and sounds of a new place and forget about how tired we really might be.
We lived through our jet lag in Barcelona just as we did in every other place. We explored the Barri Gotti and Las Ramblas, feasting on the flavors and culture that is Barcelona. We went to bed that night and slept the way people sleep when they have not been to bed in almost forty-eight hours, of course our sleep was fueled with Sangria and wonderful wine. We woke in the morning ready for what would happen next.
My husband was in the shower and I decided to run down to the bar of the hotel and get some coffee Americano and orange juice. We would be going to breakfast shortly, but this would tide us over until we got there.
When I got to the bar, a young Spaniard was tending and he looked to me expectantly. I said, “Two Coffees and Two Orange Juices, par favor.”
He tilted his head and said, “No habla ingles.”
Oh no, I thought, I don’t know how to order this. While fluent in French, I didn’t speak Spanish, not even the basics. So, like any good woman who can think on her feet, I decided to enlist the help of my acting abilities, after all, I did have a couple of acting classes in college. Why not try them out?
I quickly took advantage of the situation. While I knew I was lacking in the local language, I was determined to try. I started to mime Coffee Americano. I pointed to the espresso machine and then tried to look patriotic, putting my hand over my heart and saluting the bartender in full Army style. He pointed to a couple of items before he offered, “Americano? Coffee?”
“Si,” I replied, happy with myself.
Next, I set to the task of ordering freshly squeezed orange juice. I pointed to the juice squeezer and thankfully I was wearing a peach tank top. I pointed to my shirt and made a motion with my arms, meaning “squeeze,” flexing my biceps accordingly. To any of the other patrons sitting in the bar, I’m sure I looked as if I was inviting the bartender to a wrestling match. Really I just wanted some OJ.
When he finally deciphered my message and served me my drinks, I smiled with pleasure and started to make my way back to the room. I had been gone almost a half an hour.
My husband was dressed and ready to go to breakfast.
“What took you so long?” he asked.
“Well, the bartender didn’t know English, so I had to act all of this out.”
“I wish I had a video of that,” he laughed.
We had our drinks and I got ready for breakfast. An hour later, we walked to the restaurant inside of our hotel for breakfast. As we neared the door, I saw the bartender who had waited on me earlier acting as a host in the restaurant.
“Oh no!” I whispered to my husband. “That’s the guy! He doesn’t speak English. It’s going to take us an hour and a screenplay to get a seat!”
My husband steered me forward.
At the door the guy smiled and looked at me, recognition lit up his face.
I decided to speak loudly with hand gestures. “Table for two please. We would like breakfast.” I said every word with enunciation and hand gestures.
The young man grabbed two menus and offered me a smile and a wink. “Of course Miss. Right this way. I presume you would like Coffee Americano and freshly squeezed orange juice with your meal?”