Thursday, 2 August 2007

The English abroad

It occurred to me on the plane that I don't speak Spanish, or actually anything but English.

Sometimes I have spoken bits of languages. I have spoken very good French, reasonable German and a smidgen of quite a few other languages. Most of this is now forgotten though and so I have resorted to being the typical arrogant Brit, when travelling abroad.

So I arrived in Madrid with an office address to poke under the noses of taxi drivers. I figured that should convey the message that I want to go there.

Well I might as well have been speaking a different language. I know I was but you know what I mean. Taxi driver after taxi driver shrugged his shoulders, read the address again and escaped me as quickly as he could, allowing me to move onto the next victim.

I think it was cabbie number 10 who agreed to transport me, basically because the taxi controller just wanted shot of me.

Well cabbie number 10 was lovely - worth the wait. He knew where he was going, he tried some friendly cab banter and he was more than tolerant of my complete lack of Spanish.

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