I was sitting here at my computer a few minutes ago, checking e-mail and chugging water (I have a sore throat), when my phone rang.
The number looked weird – it was too many digits – but I shrugged my shoulders and decided to answer. I said, “This is Will.”
The man began speaking in Spanish – it caught me off guard – and I said, “Hello?”
Looking back I laugh – I was a deer in headlights – not able to formulate any thoughts in Spanish, even though I spent the past five days speaking it regularly.
It’s much more difficult when you don’t have the body language to help you out (and it certainly doesn’t help that my phone is from another decade).
We were able to communicate in a mixture of Spanish and English, and he revealed himself as one of the staff members from Barcelo – the bartender that served me drinks two nights in a row. He told me it was nice to meet me, to hang out with me, that when I come back next year he’ll have a Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks waiting.
This might sound really cheesy, but it made my heart melt a bit – it’s the first friend I’ve ever made who didn’t speak my language. I made a friend, and a year ago we would have never been able to communicate. I would have ordered a scotch and walked away – instead we talked about the women he liked and what he did for fun, and we realized we were just the same – two guys in their twenties who don’t need to be afraid of each other.
I wish I would have been able to speak better over the phone – I was overwhelmed and our conversation was choppy – but I saved his number.
I’m going to give him a call in a few months, see how he’s doing, what he thinks of my Spanish.
See if he still likes that awful song, Empire State of Mind.