Teré, you may remember, is from a small pueblo (Conil de la Frontera) on the Atlantic and absolutely loves any kind of seafood. (Remember those little shrimps she devoured, shells and all.) But she has always hated anchovies. I told her we hated anchovies, too, and that if there was ever the possibility that she might like anchovies, the ones made by Gonzalo at Catalina would be those. At least I think that's what I said. I speak to Teré almost entirely in Spanish. She lets me know when I make a major gaff or am unintelligible, but I know she lets quite a bit slide, simply translating me on the fly as well as she can (kind of what I do with San Geraldo when he speaks English).
We had another exceptional meal at Catalina and Teré agreed that she had never known an anchovy could taste so good — not salty, not oily, just delicious. Another convert thanks to Gonzalo's anchovies!
|PIMIENTOS Y ANCHOAS DEL CANTÁBRICO. DELICIOUS. TRUST ME|
Anyway, Juan was charming and warm and had joyful energy. He speaks a little English and we were joking about our gaffs in each other's languages. Jerry commented that he simply says "sí" to everything, which is how, although he doesn't drink he was almost served an after-dinner drink our second night in Spain when the bartender kindly offered to buy us two "chupitos" (shots of alcohol, in this case after-dinner liqueur). I offered the story in Spanish to Juan and said, "At the question, 'Chupitos?' Jerry said, "Sí!"
That was supposed to be the funny part of my story... and it was. However, if you change the "o" in chupito to an "a" (which is what I did), you change an after-dinner drink to something entirely different. Juan burst out laughing and mimed it for me by way of explanation. If you know that "chupa" is lollypop, you might get the picture. It's something that could occur with one person under the table or simply on their knees... if you get my drift. Good. You got my drift. I will not mime it for you.
The problem is, I have told that story several times since we've been here. And I'm pretty sure, I have swapped the "o" for an "a" on at least a few occasions. I'm also pretty sure those were the times no one laughed at my story. Thank you, Juan, for saving me further embarrassment.