Tequila Does NOT Break Dan’s Spanish

… But it has broken my spirit. Actually, yep, screw this. I am hungover as hell. Certainly too hungover to be blogging. I will tell you about it tomorrow…

31st March 2014 (some 8 days later):

Dearest readers, I am sorry that I lied to you. In my desperately hungover state, I boldly claimed that I would tell you about my latest of experience of tequila ‘tomorrow’ (see above for any clarification). As you may have taken note by now, I did not tell you about it that following day. Nor did I spill the beans the day after that, nor the day after that, etc., etc. … For this, I wish to apologise. Yet frankly, you didn’t miss out on much. As the title suggests, even in my sorry state that developed ferociously soon after waking up on the sofa of my favourite Venezuelan friend (of which I have a grand total of 1), I was able to converse with her in Spanish without too much trouble. Well, not so much converse as complain of an aching head and great regret for having drunk so much the night before. In fact, the volume of alcohol I consumed on the night actually had a fair amount to do with Luz – translated as ‘Light’ in English and pronounced more or less as the word ‘loose’ –  who is something of a tenacious little latina lady when it comes to convincing me to drink far more than I should.

After preparing her housemates, friends and me a delectable meal, such is typical of her generous nature, she proceeded to ‘pop bottles’. Birdman and Lil Wayne would have been proud. The contents of a couple of tequila bottles were quickly depleted thanks to the dogged determination of my South American companion to ensure that all in attendance knocked back shot after shot. The lemon, liquor and salt were all out in force. After time – an alarmingly brief period – as the wells of tequila began to run dry, Luz was able, with some considerable cunning, to trick us into downing further shots, presented as ‘tequila’… Tequila, they were not. She had us downing shots of vodka (which she had poured into an empty tequila bottle, somehow without anyone seeing). Worryingly, it took a number of us more than one attempt with this latest concoction to realise that our barmaid for the evening was pulling the wool over our eyes. Thankfully, I soon wised up to the deceit and stemmed the flow of booze to my system. Not before, that is, Luz was able, finally, to delegate me the task of seeing away some red wine left over from dinner that she had at least in principle intended to drink herself, or so she said.

The end result, needless to say, was a drunken group of individuals, which constituted of 2 Swedes, 1 Englishman, 1 American, 1 Venezuelan and a Pole (a Polish person – we didn’t form an international gang and wield a sole weapon between us of a pole as our means to instil fear in our rivals). It all sounds like the makings of a terribly poor joke. Without discussing the details of our punchline, we soon left Luz’ flat to go and wreak havoc on the streets… or rather, just to go to a club. An entertaining evening, for sure. Followed by a diabolically unpleasant headache the following morning, as is both deserved and to be expected. Regardless, the hangover is a familiarity, most regrettably, which never becomes more bearable. It did, however, on this occasion provide me a lesson (no, not to stop drinking for good): I can now say with conviction that my Spanish has notably improved since I first arrived in Barcelona way back when. I have the scientific evidence to prove it and everything! Well, er, sort of. I now have the pseudo-scientific evidence to prove it. Cast your minds back, if you will, to September 2013, during which I went out for tequila-filled night. The result was this.

Indeed, at that time in my fledgling Catalan career, equipped with an apocalyptic hangover having drunk a toxic amount of tequila, I was simply unable to string two words of Spanish together – let alone a sentence. I remember giving in to the pain fairly swiftly on said occasion and accepting that words were not destined to leave my mouth that day, in any language for that matter. I was well and truly hurting. Yet, back to the present day – or thereabouts – and I now have a barometer of sorts to measure the quality of my spoken Spanish. My capability to speak the language after my recent night of tequila consumption dropped far less than on that initial occasion. Therefore, with the independent variable of my consumption of [an unspecified amount of] tequila and the dependent variable of my level of spoken Spanish, I can accurately conclude that my Spanish has improved. All I have to do is look to the results! Whether or not I specifically needed the independent variable of tequila-drinking to formally examine the extent of my improvement is a question which, for the time being, remains unanswered (does it, really, Dan…?). What I can at least say for sure is that, in terms of the tequila and its attempts to foil me in my own attempts of speaking decent Spanish, I have come, I have seen and I have conquered.

My vanquished foe

My vanquished foe

The sad truth for me is that this merely represents a victory in a minor battle in what is sure to be long and hard-fought war against this vicious Mexican beverage. I am almost certain to continue drinking it, despite my better judgment, and it will no doubt leave me in a sorry heap on each and every day after the night before. So this is a victory that I will savour and will be sure to look to with fondness in my more desperate of moments, when all points to tequila holding the upper hand. The war rages on but, for the time being at least, I have the spoils of my triumphant battle to enjoy.



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