Everyone likes to think they are a great traveller and everyone likes to think they are easygoing. I think it and I know if anyone is reading this – you also think that about yourself. We all want to believe this to be true about ourselves.
What I have learned about travelling with Dani is that she hates arriving in new places hungry. I have been doing my best to keep her fed on travel days. Point 1 for me being easy and Dani being difficult.
Dani has expressed to me a few times in the past two months that I am difficult. Naturally, I don’t believe this. What I believe is Dani is difficult and I am easy. That is why when I received a perfect example illustrating this I had to share.
We arrive in Madrid via train. The entire train experience goes smoothly (I even ensure that Dani is fed) we arrive and check into our free hotel. Perfect.
I know that I MUST keep Dani full to avoid her having a meltdown so I suggest going for something to eat. She agrees and we promptly select a restaurant via Yelp that is 450 meters away. Perfect.
We arrive at the restaurant. It is packed. I take this as a great sign and tell Dani let’s go in a grab a table. I start walking into the restaurant to find a spot to sit. Dani decides that it is too busy and she wants to go somewhere else. Another point for me. Minus 1 for Dani – she is being difficult.
We arrive at the next restaurant and have a seat. There aren’t any menus anywhere so as soon as the waiter comes we order the one thing we know in Spanish – a cerveza. Everything seems fine.
I notice a sign indicating a prix fix menu for 3 courses 11 Euro. Perfect. I suggest this to Dani. She says she doesn’t understand what any of the things are so she doesn’t want it. I look up a few words on Google Translate to get a general idea of the options. She still says no – she doesn’t understand so she doesn’t want it. Point for me, minus another for Dani.
The waiter returns with a small tapa for us to try. It is ham in some tomato sauce. The ham is extremely fatty. This makes Dani upset because she doesn’t understand how this ham made its way to our table and why it is so fatty. I just ignore it. I will only minus half a point for Dani.
I try with gestures and less than broken Spanish to tell the waiter we would like the prix fix menu. This frustrates Dani – so she just starts talking in English to the waiter. SURPRISE! He doesn’t speak ANY English (much different from Barcelona where everyone speaks English) Finally, he understands, gets a bit flustered and comes back with a tablecloth for our table. He puts it on and notices a hole in it – gets more flustered – removes the tablecloth and leaves. Dani still doesn’t understand what is happening and is suggesting we just toss 5 Euro on the table for the drinks and leave. I say ‘No, there was hole in the tablecloth – I am sure he will be right back’ Dani persists about leaving ‘No No No No, let’s go’ and I repeat myself. Dani says that I am being difficult. Our waiter reappears with a tablecloth and sets the table. Perfect now we can have a proper lunch. Score one for me – we will just call this zero for Dani.
As I already said, I am only able to pick out a few words on the menu. I simply try to say what it is to the waiter, point to it and things seem fine. Dani orders pasta and a hamburger (these don’t really go together but those are what she is most comfortable with) – the waiter tries to explain that there is no more hamburger by striking it off the menu with his pen. Dani points to something that is not fish. It will be a surprise. I am going to give myself one point in this situation for willing to try whatever the heck they put in front of me.
And this was probably not the right time to tell Dani that I think this is a perfect example of how I don’t think she knows what ‘easy going’ means. In this example, I am easy going since I am just going to do whatever and not care. I will just deal with it. Dani on the other hand is being difficult since she didn’t have a clear understanding of what is going on. I decide to tell her that I have just witnessed this perfect example of her being not ‘easy going’, Dani laughs loudly and nearly cries laughing.
These are the joys of travelling to me…not having a clue what the hell is going on but really in the end everything turns out okay. Especially with Dani.