Monday, September 14, 2009

Booking ahead

Having learned my lesson, I bought my ticket today for the bus to Portugal tomorrow. Apparently, there are two daily buses. When the lady at the ticket office asked me in Spanish which one I wanted, I couldn’t make out what she was asking and all I could answer was no entiendo—I don’t understand. The guy in the queue behind me, impatient, intervened and explained to me that there is a morning bus I can catch at 7:30 or an afternoon bus at 16:30, and she was asking which bus I wanted to take—all in rapid, verbose Spanish. After he finished I turned and said to him, in Spanish, “I don’t speak Spanish.” Somehow, he seemed to think that speaking to me in Spanish would remedy that.

Meantime, the lady at the counter simply wrote 7:30 and 16:30 on a piece of paper. I pointed to 7:30, paid my €16.50, and was on my way, wishing the impatient Spanish man a continued fruitful career in impromptu customer service.

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