Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Suitcase Is Fish

Thursday March 27 2008

This is why I don't attempt to speak other languages.

It's rather silly of me to try, because sometimes I know just enough Spanish words to make it sound like I'm fluent in the language. When the person answers me with a barrage of Spanish though, I'm left looking vacuous, the rest of my Spanish having rapidly fled my head in a panic. I'm lost after the second word.

Steph and I noticed that all the Spaniards we've encountered so far have been extraordinarily friendly. I think I've discovered why. It might be my version of Spanish that makes them smile so broadly. For example: today when the hotel man retrieved our luggage, I meant to say, "Mi maleta es pesado" (heavy), but it came out "Mi maleta es pescado." My suitcase is fish.

Which was a silly thing to say anyway, because he was the one trying to lift it. I did get another big grin.

Mal (badly) mangled Spanish aside, we had an uneventful day. It started out with a long deep catch-up sleep - I made it up out of bed at 9:30 AM and managed to go down to the cafe twice for cappuchinos before Steph got up at noon. The lady at reception scolded us for missing checkout.

We successfully shopped for a libro (book) on Andalucia, the region of Spain Steph will be riding a horse through, and a SIM card for my phone, the instructions for which I successfully translated from Spanish. We caught a taxi to Dos Hermanas (and successfully chitchatted with the driver about the temperate - 22*C - windy spring weather), and moved into our new hotel room at the 4-star TRH Motilla Hotel, where we will be for the next two nights. Not much to sight-see in the immediate vicinity - just a nice quiet little neighborhood with a mall and a Burger King across the street. The Raven and I went out for a short stroll, where we found a tiny park, and the Raven found an olive tree to frolic in.

Tomorrow registration begins for riders at 9 AM, and vet inspections for horses begins at 11 AM at the Gran Hipodromo de Andalucia in Dos Hermanas. At 4:30 PM commences the first stage of Tierras de Al-Andalus, a 10-km "calentamiento," or warm-up ride. This will apparently take place on the racecourse. The offical website of the ride,, says it best: "Our intention is to make run all of the horses... The idea is to create a big squad of more than 70 horses running around the 2000 meters grass of Dos Hermanas. This can be very attractive for the TV show as well as for the spectators."

Very attractive for the spectators and photographers, and very exciting for the riders, I am sure. Hang onto your helmets, the 3rd annual Tierras De Al-Andalus, a 10-day, 500-km horse trek across Andalucia is about to begin.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, 70 fired-up endurance horses running together. Attractive for the audience indeed. Hope it goes well! "My suitcase is fish" was hilarious. Kudos to you for speaking the local language even if it has unexpected turns.