When in Rome or Barcelona…

It’s easy to adapt to life in Spain. Yes, we are on an extended vacation so we’ve left behind our work and our biggest concern each day is where are we going to eat and when do we take a walk, but even the locals seems to realize their quality of life is second to none. We are doing our best to abandon our normal routines and to follow suit and for “research” purposes; to live as the locals.

In a few of my previous posts, I’ve joked a little that at the breakfast bar that we eat at each morning, the locals imbibe in alcohol, not coffee. Today, we learned, that we are the odd man out. We got a late start by American standards, 11am, and headed to the bar across the street. Hoy es especial (I’m switching to some Spanish for the time being) was a caldereta de callos (a tripe stew), which my husband has been asking about all week, and I opted for a bocadillo con jamon y queso. Next up, dos cafes con leches. Then our guy proceeded to tell us in his rapida espanol that we were the only people that sit along the bar that drink coffee con su comida. He then told us, as my husband best translated, “…but you do you.” This is where we said, in the name of research, we should be doing what everyone else is doing, so dos cervezas, por favor. As we’ve seen him do so many times before, he took out a large knife, beheaded the tops off two beers, pulled out cold glasses, and set the beers in front of us. We realized we had officially graduated from tourist to local. And with that, we had the perfect meal.

It doesn’t stop there, though. Each shop, whether it be coffee, sandwich, whatever, always has a bar that stocks cuban rums and brandys that can’t be found in the US. I know, it’s the morning and we should take our beers and be on our way but my husband asks about the different liquors he pours for his patrons. What better way to find out than to take out a glass and offer a shot. My husband tries it, than passes it to me. Our guy says something along the lines of “will she fall on the floor if she has that?” All I hear my husband say amongst his spanish is “ella es nueva orleans“, which doesn’t translate and I took a sip of what we learned is a smooth brandy that the locals drink with their coffee. After that, you can imagine why everyone is walking around with a smile on their faces and today, we joined them.

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