Our chief weapon is surprise
I spent last week in Seville, with not a single Janice in sight. It was very hot and very relaxing. Our days were punctuated by gin & tonics and jamón and ice cream, and then it just all started all over again after a nap and a shower. Spain, we speak the same language (except actually we don’t).
I used to know how to speak Spanish fairly well, years ago. When I was in college, I took enough Spanish in one year to fulfill my language requirement that every so often I’d catch myself thinking in Spanish. But after my classes ended, that skill quickly atrophied. A few years ago while visiting Paris, whenever anyone asked me anything in French, I would answer, “Sí,” before I could stop myself. It was like the language center in my brain recognized Other and just spat out the first thing it could find that wasn’t English. Before we left for Seville, Nick said, “Okay, you’re going to do the talking,” and I said, “Unless anyone asks me a very slow question about the train station or ice cream parlor, that’s not going to work.” From the minute we landed, whenever anyone said anything, the only thing that was on the tip of my tongue to reply was, “Las cucarachas entran, pero no pueden salir,” from the Ren & Stimpy International Log commercial. Thankfully we were with our very fluent friends Dan and Mishka most of the time, so I didn’t get the chance to tell anyone this bit of wisdom.
This trip provided a wealth of opportunities for my two favorite kinds of photos: photos of people posed so that famous landmarks look like they’re coming out of their head, and photos where people make medieval tapestry poses. One night after dinner, we were walking along the river and I spied a building that looked like a good candidate for a combo of these two poses, and as I was taking a picture of Nick dutifully making medieval tapestry fingers for the hundredth time that day, Dan said, “Do you know what that building coming out of Nick’s head is? That’s the former headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition!”
For as long as I can remember, the only specification I’ve had about my wedding ring is that I want “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” engraved on the inside of it. Nick is the only man I’ve ever dated who not only got this, but also thought it was a great idea, which was one of the earliest points he got in my book. And here we were in Spain, taking a picture of it without realizing what it was! All of my nerd planets aligned!
We left Spain with a suitcase full of cava, a flamenco dress for Esme, and a dry-cured pig’s leg in Nick’s backpack, the hoof peeking out the top. We came home to the news that the first part of our visa application had been approved. I’m trying to think of a cute or funny way to end this but I can’t really think of anything better than that.