Sunday, 6 July 2014

Lost in Translation

It's so strange how what starts out happy and fun can turn out badly. Yesterday I was having lunch with a group of friends and ex-colleagues at a restaurant in the centre of town. It's a restaurant in a pedestrian street, one that we've eaten at numerous times before. Since it wasn't too hot, we decided to eat outside. We were laughing about the English translations of the dishes, especially the 'menestra de verduras', or mixed vegetables, was translated 'pottage gives vegetables'. This was especially funny because Pottage is the surname of one of our group who wasn't there with us. I'm not sure if you can see this page of the menu. I've scanned it and a couple more pages and will give it to my friend to use in her language school.

To make a long story short, because I know some of you have already seen this update on facebook, some time during the meal one of my friends' bag was stolen. Apparently there was a guy sitting behind us who didn't order anything. He had a leather jacket which would have been the perfect hiding place. A waitress in the restaurant thought he was Columbian, but somebody at our table thought he was Eastern European. I didn't see him as he was sitting behind me. I accompanied my friend to the police station, because I have the keys to her house and also to pay for her transport home. As we were getting ready to leave after reporting the theft, her bag turned up with everything in it except the money. mobile phone, tablet and some pens. 

Ironically during the meal, we were discussing how safe Madrid was, or that we weren't worried about getting shot down in the street by some crazy packing an arsenal of weapons. However, it doesn't matter how careful you try to be if someone is intent on robbing you, they will. We had also talked about meeting up every Saturday for lunch at the restaurant when the institute closes at 2 p.m. I don't know if we will now.

Our weather is still fairly nice. I touch wood as I say that my house continues to be cool. I posted a newspaper photo of the storm that we had on Thursday in Madrid on facebook. Some people I think thought all the hail was snow. My area didn't get it too badly. However, I know the farmers in a town called Villaconejos will probably lose most of their melon crop. Villaconejos (Rabbit Villa) is famous for its melons. I'd just seen a documentary a few days before about how they care for the melons by hiding them under the leaves so they don't get too much sun.

I hope everybody in the US had a good and safe holiday weekend. Hope your Monday isn't too bad and hope the rest of your week goes well.   


  1. I did read about the theft on FB. So sad that we can't trust people these days. Also sad that you may not get together for lunch, because of that incident. It's good that you had a key, to get your friend home after wards. The scariest thing is knowing the thief now has her address and access to her personal information, on her phone. Translations are hilarious sometimes. I have Bing translator on Facebook, since I have some Finnish friends. The translations are very funny at times. Have a good week, Brenda, and don't let the bad guys keep you from seeing your friends for lunch! That means they win.

  2. Terrri and everone who reads this: the thief didn't take any documents or keys, and she telephone her provider to block the phone. Obviously the guy wasn't a professional. Thank goodness she doen't have to get a new passport or medical card.

  3. How awful that someone would steal your friend's handbag! I had my purse stolen once and I will never forget feeling so violated. To think that a complete stranger was going through my personal belongings. I hope they catch this guy that did this to your friend! Have a wonderful week, Brenda!