Saturday, July 28, 2012

Do You Speak Espangolsku?

Today we are traveling back to Poland.  Because it's another day of planes, trains, and autobuses, it's a good time to fill in some of the details of our adventures from yesterday.  We decided to explore the north and west areas of the Old Town this time to see what we could find there.  Old Salamanca is full of churches.  We didn't see any as magnificent as the cathedrals, but the Iglesia del Purisimo (Church of Purity) was noteworthy.  It seemed that other interesting places were inaccessible to tourists, which disappointed us a little.  Instead, we decided to do more souvenir shopping, for which we needed to venture to a different part of town.  Although the typical tourist gift shops are cute, they do not have official team sport merchandise, specifically the Real Madrid football team merchandise.  So we walked quite a ways north to El COrte Ingles, the biggest department store I'd ever seen, where we found what we were looking for.  So Rita, I will leave you in suspense for now as to the rest of the story.

When we made it back to the Old Town, we had a wonderful relaxing lunch from a quiet street cafe.  It felt so good to sit down.  We had done a lot of walking, and we don't always get to eat meals sitting down, especially tapas in Salamanca.  Later in the day, we went out again to meet Megan for tapas, and although the food was delicious, we had to eat it standing at the bar.

Back to siesta time, Andy and I went back to the hotel after lunch and some casual shop browsing.  It was a great time to rest inside, because it also was looking rainy again.  I was looking forward to enjoying the rest of our bottle of sangria out on our patio, but no sooner had we set foot outside, it began to sprinkle.  Drat.  After we waited a bit, though, it stopped, and we finished the last of the bottle in view of the cathedral. Ahh.

We still had to take our umbrellas with us when we left the hotel again.  Before we met Megan, we visited the Archive of the Spanish Civil War.  Although it was interesting to see documents, propaganda, personal letters, and other artifacts, the exhibits were not in any kind of chronological order or organization according to the parties involved.  We did learn that the Freemasons were among those persecuted by the Fascist regime.  There was even a replica Masonic Lodge room you could go into.  It kind of made me wonder whether the Masons would object to having their secret symbols and room layout displayed.  Also, the outfits on the mannequins looked disturbingly like black KKK uniforms...  Anyway, it was somewhat interesting but not extensive enough to warrant more than an hour of exploration.  We moved on to exploring more shops for a bit.  I found I really like the casual, pretty skirts young women tend to wear here, and I was looking for a skirt that I liked.  I never found one that I liked here in Spain, but maybe I'll find something in Poland.

So we met Megan, and she took us to a tapa bar and grill which had a great variety of grilled pork and chicken tapas.  They were served on a slice of baguette bread, with juices dripped on top for flavor.  Yum!  Megan told us that one way to tell a good tapas bar is to see how many napkins are thrown on the floor.  Since most tapas are finger food, bar clientele take napkins to wipe their fingers.  Apparently, the custom is to just throw them on the floor when you're done.  The more napkins on the floor, the better the bar.

Later, we made our way back to the Plaza Mayor, where we sat for drinks and hung out for the rest of the evening.  It was a great night, and we had such a great time in Spain.  We're sad to be leaving today.

As we've moved through the airports today, I've become more and more messed up in my languages.  I've generally been speaking Spanglish throughout our vacation, but this habit was thrown into sharp relief as we've moved farther away from Spain.  Then Andy reminds me that I need to remember Polish, and now I'm commingling three languages.  To top it off, since we're flying Lufthansa, I'm seeing German words too, and I feel as though a horrific abomination of languages might come spilling out of me at any moment.  Something like, "The autobus trae jedenascie Schwimmwesten to los pasajeros."  I will give a cookie to whoever can decipher this sentence without Google.  (No cheating!)

Andy here.  Here are some additional messed-up-language Laurel quotes from today.  No cookies for these because they usually only require two languages.

"Existe un i-griega ('y'), I promise."
"We're in a nube?"
"Hace enough fresco."


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