Adrian and Beryl Seel in Wells
Clare on the Cathedral Green
Adrian and Beryl Seel at the May Fair
In the Rugantino Italian restaurant earlier that afternoon, as described in the previous post, the four of us: my mother, Clare, Adrian and myself had been waiting for our meal to arrive and discussing Adrian's forthcoming trip to Chile.
Me: "Have you been checking out the Michel Thomas Spanish tapes?" [They're CDs actually].
Adrian: "I'm going to a blitz on it just before I go, when I'm less busy."
Me (sceptically): Do you remember any of it? What does "Hasta la vista, baby" mean?
Clare: "'See you tomorrow', doesn't it? And the 'h' is silent."
Me (snorting): "Don't think that was what Arnie meant ..."
[Note: Clare is entirely correct on both points. Arnie's use is ironic.]
At this point an attractive waitress came up.
Clare: "Are you from Italy?"
Waitress (in perfect English): "No, I'm from Spain."
As the waitress departed I said:
"That was an ideal opportunity for you to ask her where she came from in Spanish."
Adrian forbore from reminding me that as we didn't initially know from whence she had come, it would have been more appropriate to have asked her in Italian ... if any of us had had any, that is.
Adrian: "I could have asked her, but what would have happened next?"
He waited expectantly.
Clare: "Right, she would have told you in rapid, perfect, fast Spanish."
Beryl: "That's exactly where you needed to change the problem into an opportunity. There's loads of responses - how about 'I didn't get any of that, why don't I buy you dinner sometime and maybe you could help me understand?'"
Adrian's sardonic expression invited us all to drop dead.