Hola! Como estas?

Hola!  Como estas?  My llama Julie!  De donde eres?

Since travelling – and perhaps a little topsy turvy here! – I am now learning Spanish.  I could have done with simple phrases I am now learning – above I say “hello, how are you?  I’m Julie.  Where are you from?”   That simple phrasing would have made life much easier – as would being able to order food, know what some of it was and what the cafes actually sold, and how to pay and know prices!

Many a time, not only in South America and Spain, I managed with food I sort of recognised and pointed to, unsure of the cost by holding our money and trusting the locals to take their due, and frustrating many a cab driver when asking for the fare but unable to understand their request or answers!

So now, ready to live on Madrid or Lima I hope, I am learning this language.  I know some French but nowhere I travelled used this one!  I can speak English as can many other countries and people – from Europeans I met to villagers in the Amazon and Asia for tourists, and yet 32 countries of the world speak Spanish and I know nothing until now!

So at least when I travel in future I will understand more, be able to find the basic hello, thanks, goodbye, up or down, left and right, food and drinks and places of interest!   Some of this I learned in each place as travelling became my norm, but it is only respectful to try to speak the language of their country which they appreciate even in small doses – as we do here.  I promise myself to be more patient and helpful to tourists in future, chat to them if I meet them (as I did on a tram, on a walking tour in my home city of Manchester as I did whilst a travelling tourist around the world, and it warms my own heart when I meet ‘a fellow traveller’ as I will always be now!)

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