An Unsavory Meat

by theadventuresofbeka

I came to Spain with a background in Spanish but very little ability to actually use it to communicate. At this point, most of my interactions outside of my classes are held in Spanish. Me opening my mouth is equivalent to me shouting that I am American but I can get my point across and understand most basic conversations. With that being said, I want to share a story from Monday with you.

Meson 81 (called ochenta y uno here) is a bar that is across the street from my home. My host family and I go there after school before lunch two or three times a week. This is one situation where my Spanish fails me. It is mostly middle aged and older men with thick mumbled Spanish mixed with humor and opinion. I typically don’t speak a lot, partially because I don’t understand and partially because most of the conversations are about people/places/events that are unknown to me. Oftentimes I can gather what they are talking about but not enough details to voice my opinion.

I guess I had been especially quiet this past Monday because the guy next to me asked, “Has comido un raton?” He had to say it twice because the first time I didn’t understand the question. Then, I proceeded to look grossed out and emphatically told him, that no we don’t eat rats in the United States.

My host mother laughed and explained to me that it’s an expression. If you haven’t talked a lot or you have a hoarse voice, you will be asked, “have you eaten a rat?” He wasn’t actually wondering if Americans ate rats.

For the record, they don’t eat rats here in Spain either.

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