"I Love Tuning"
Remember those really unfashionable black-and-white checkered loafers from the early 1990´s? I ran into (or rather, away from) a pair of them while moonlighting in Madrid. I was due to return today from my African adventure, but decided to stay the better part of a week in a city in which I studied over ten years ago. Desperate to shed my worn and dirty backpacker clothing, I immediately upon arrival set out to shop for shoes. I counted my record-low-value dollars and exchanged them into four euros. After soliciting an ATM and imbibing copious amounts of traditional Spanish coffee, I went on my shoe safari.
So here is where I say goodbye to everyone. I´m moving to Spain. I have already applied for a job (oddly, I´m serious, explanation to come) and quickly scrawled some phone numbers about renting apartments near sangria bars, one of which I was patronizing in the warm sunshine. By the time I´d begun drinking my glass of cold and tart sangria, I´d already been successful in finding a pair of shoes for a mere nine euro. Spain is not exactly known for its bargains, case in point my hotel which charges the same nine euro for a package of potato chips. Another case point, that previously mentioned pair of black-and-white checkered loafers showing off the English logo "I love tuning". One of my favorite things about traveling is finding those things that just don´t make sense. No matter how many consonants and-or vowels I added to "I love tuning", I couldn´t come up with whatever the colloquialism was meant to signify. I sipped my sangria and smiled. I´d found a gorgeous pair of black patent leather flats (nine euro!), a red handbag (not nine euro), some jewelry, and fresh socks.
On my way back to my hotel, I stopped in a churrascaria, a sort of local bar that serves meats and beers. I´d noticed earlier that the bar was looking for a new worker. I´d also decided earlier, yes before I´d drunk the liquid courage that is coffee and sangria, that I´d apply for a job at the churrascaria. So, I did.
The bartendress seemed halfway amused, bordering on irritated. "So," she said in rapid-fire Spanish, "you are staying at a nearby hotel and want to work for this restaurant gratis while you are on vacaciones?¨ I agreed that those were my intentions and she asked me to return the following day to see if my verbal application would be accepted. She seemed much less excited than I for my offer of free employment for the remainder of the week.
Stay tuned tomorrow to see whether or not I get the job at the meat & beer bar. And thanks to all those who asked what the conclusion was to the Johannesburg robbery attempt. Update to come, possibly in longer format of a book.