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!)