Afternoon classes are good because I get to sleep late and can muck around the whole morning without rushing out into the cold.
They are not great when it comes to being in a small class smack in the middle of siesta and there is no way the teacher will not notice anyone nodding away.
So just to keep a civil presence, I will stop by the corner taberna before class for a cup of café con leche (coffee with milk). They are always busy but do serve a decent brew which works brilliantly for me.
Today I was late leaving the apartment and could only get my caffeine fix at break-time.
By then the taberna was empty except for the barman. He sort of recognized me, nodded and started to prepare my café con leche.
Since there were no one around, I decided to practise my Spanish.
Muy frio dia (Very cold day)
¿Trabajas solo ahora? (Working alone now?)
Si. ¿Estudia en la escuela Don Quijote? (Yes. You are studying in Don Quijote school?)
At this point, I daren’t proceed further as I’ve used as much vocabulary as I can remember without referring to the translator. Anyway the man was busy with another customer who just walked in.
When I finished my coffee, I placed Euro 1.10 on the counter as I normally do and started to leave. Before walking out, I attempted a final practice for the day.
Gracias. Pago por el café ok? (Thank you. Payment for the coffee ok?)
That’s when the barman spoke in rapid Spanish which I could only pick up some words of numbers and realized I had short-changed the business for the past days of my patronage.
¡Perdón! (Sorry!) and quickly paid the right amount including the arrears.
I wonder if he’s wondering how long he will be subsidising my drinks. Should I be looking for a new coffee place tomorrow?