Monday, 12 May 2008

Memories of Spain, part 7

The importance of carbohydrates in biking nutrition was demonstrated on this day. The night before was the only time we cooked for ourselves on the trip. Unfortunately, we neglected to include significant amounts of carbs in the menu. This was unfortunate as the weather turned quite cool, even raining a bit, as we crossed a range of mountains. I definitely felt a lack of oomph that day. This was despite having stopped in Baños de Montemayor for churros and chocolate.
The remarkable thing about chocolate, a Spanish form of hot chocolate, is the thickness it can be. At this particular establishment, the chocolate was only slightly thinner than chocolate pudding!
Later in the day, I possibly made a faux pas in the way I asked for directions. I had arrived at an intersection in some small hamlet and wasn't 100% sure which road led to Endrinal. As luck would have there was an older woman, dressed in black walking by. "¡Buenos dias, Señora! ¿Por favór, está la ruta...el camino para Endrinal?" I inquired, pointing the way I thought it was. "¡Si! ¡Endrinal, si!" She replied. "¡Muchas gracias, señora! ¡Muchas gracias!" I thanked her, bowing vigorously in what I hoped was international body language for "Thank you."

Margo critiqued the exchange was that I had asked the question a bit abruptly. It would have been more polite if I had first greeted the woman with a few pleasantries before getting to the heart of the matter. On the other hand, my command of Spanish isn't great and I had to carefully compose the question in my mind before speaking. Setting up pleasantries and then the question would likely have been beyond me. Furthermore, I don't think the woman was particularly offended and probably understood that I was some species of young foreigner who A. wasn't sure where he was, B. didn't have a great command of Spanish, and C. didn't intend to be rude.

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