Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Reefer Madness!

So, here are the plain facts. A good percentage of Holland is currently studying Spanish at my language school. In Fact, half of my class are Dutch girls. And they speak English very well. But what if I didn't speak English? What would it feel like if this common language were taken away? Such is the position of the Italian guy in class. He is there to learn Spanish and doesn't speak English, so not many people talk with him during the breaks. So I took it upon myself to speak with him, and apparently he has taken a liking to me.

Yesterday, when I left my keys, wallet, mobile phone, and money locked in my apartment, he offered to buy me a pastry at a bakery down the street. I enjoyed speaking with him about music, Italy, the mafia, and food, even though it was all in broken Spanish. Today, I returned the favor, and after finishing my Berliner, he asked me an interesting question. "Do you enjoy smoking?" You have to be careful answering questions like this in Spain, because you may end up communicating something false. I quickly assessed the situation. I never see him smoking with the other students during breaks, but he mentioned in class that he doesn't ever get drunk. So, I offered a safe reply, "sometimes, I like to smoke a pipe with my friends." His response, "I like to smoke marijuana."

Add it to the lists of firsts here in Spain. First place I've visited outside of Texas where a mullet was socially acceptable, first time eating churros con chocolate, first Dutch friend, and first implicit invite to take part in illegal activities. What's next, driving a scooter? Hopefully not. I hate scooters.

By the way, I turned down the invitiation and now have one more reason to learn this language--to turn down drugs.

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