One of the first things that went through my head when I got invited to go to Barcelona was, “Yes! I finally have an opportunity to practice the little bit of Spanish I have learned over that last couple years.”
My dad and I went over a few sayings we thought would come in handy on the way to the airport and Monique and I brushed up a little bit more with a book she pulled out on the airplane. Let’s just say the conversations did not go as smoothly as I had played them in my head the few days before our departure.
Although none of us were able to have a full blown out conversation in only Spanish, all of us girls knew just enough to help each other get by and to get our points across in conversation. This especially came in handy when we got separated on the Metro.
Not only were we accidently on the wrong train going the wrong way, but we ended up in two groups when half of us were not able to push through the crowd quite fast enough. Rachel, Brittney, Shannon and I sat on the train in a little bit of a panic, when we decided it was best to get off at the next stop and ask for help.
Everyone in Spain was very nice and patient while trying to carry conversation with us. We had a nice lady help us get a map and point us in the right direction to our beautiful hotel.
When we got to the hotel we called the other half of the group and had a great deal of relief when they walked through the doors and we were all together again.
When ordering at restaurants pointing at the menu was the easiest thing to do, but we did not rely on this method. We still tried our best to use our words and frequently used the saying,”Como se dice____?” Which means, “How do you say____?”
Our driver heard and answered this question multiple times. Easier words like Hola (hello), Por Favor (please), Gracias (thank you) and Adios (good-bye) became part of almost all of our conversations and are still used now that we are home. Brittney explored a little further and said, “Adios amigo.” (good-bye friend) to almost everyone we met.
Even though there was some difficulty with the language barrier, we had so much fun using the little bit of Spanish we knew and learning more along the way. When we couldn’t understand or be understood we laughed our way through the predicament and waited for the next to come along so we could laugh some more.
This is a trip we will never forget and now we all know a little bit more Spanish we can share with our friends, family and the best fans in the NBA.
Written by Brittni on June 20, 2011