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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meat man, sheep photography and cheap drinks

I said before that Fatigas del Querer was a good bar. Now I absolutely LOVE IT.

I went with Poppy last night, after trying to get into a really nice looking bar with live jazz. It was full, so we went off to F del Q. That was the third time I've taken someone Scottish/English there, I should be their promo...

Anyway we got ourselves a spot at the bar and some beer, and the barman gave us some Really Nice olives. After, we got another beer and I don't think they gave us tapas that time.... But later we got chorizo and wee breadsticks, in case you were wondering. We were standing right under the big leg of pig, watching an angry-looking man carve nice thin slices of it while we chatted about boys and old boyfriends and school and work and suddenly a large slice (wedge?) of ham came flying at Poppy and hit her in the face!*

Angry man wasn't so apologetic, saying hey, you can eat it, better I fling meat at you than the knife!
From then on we had a stop-start conversation with meat Man, who was angry because he was doing lots of carving, moving onto chorizo, cheese and morcilla (spanish black sausage, which was better than any i've ever tasted) for very little pay, and he used to carve that very same jamon at Harrods, apparently. He told us he's been on tv with Jamie Oliver, and also Ainsley Harriot, who he did an amusing impression of (have you ever noticed how much he moves his face when he talks?) He said he left London because he missed Spain, but is now fully regretting it. He kept giving us slices of the meat he was working on, and we liked him so much we bought him a beer, to the bewilderment of the barman who's presumably more used to getting drinks bought for himself or the other younger, better looking barmen. Meat Man was chuffed. I think his name was Julio, or something equally Spanish. Legend. I hope he gets enough money to buy his flights to London for his Harrods interview and I see him on tv soon. Mr Harrods, if you're reading this, please give him a job and lots of money.

In between spurts of chat with Meat Man Julio, a Spanish boy in a white t-shirt approached with some friends with comedy glasses who did a disappearing trick soon after. He asked us if we wanted to go to Cuenca next weekend and be photographed with lots of sheep. Of course we said yes. He didn't ask straight off, there was a bit of the usual 'where are you from, what do you teach, do you like Spain?' chat first, it would have been a weird opener. But, yeah, I do want to go to Cuenca which is meant to be beautiful, and be in a photo (he's a photographer) and go on a hike and have a big dinner with his other friends/models and sheep friends. Unfortunately, I work on Saturdays. This job is ruining a lot of my plans, and also making people think I'm a bit stupid. I get a lot of 'why did you take a job on Saturday mornings? Why haven't you quit yet? Can't you phone in sick? But really, Saturday mornings??' accompanied by incredulous looks and shakings of the head.
We tried to persuade him to do it on Saturday afternoon following on to Sunday morning (we didn't think about the fact this would have us staying with a stranger overnight, but it was a good plan at the time) because then he'd have 2 chances for photography and the choice of evening or morning light. I know he was tempted, and he has my number so I will let you know if this sheep photography session goes ahead. I hope it does.

The best bit of the night was just after, when we decided to pay up and leave. An observant reader will know we owed them for 7 beers. They said pay for 4, we said no, it was 6 for us and one for him, they said ok then, pay for 2 and stay for another, for free. I always thought bargaining was meant to go the other way. We paid 2 euros each!  Cheapest night ever.

When we left, overjoyed, Madrid had turned into a river and we were under a waterfall. My pink umbrella came out and did a good job for a while, then began to leak and drip onto my face in big cold blobs. My boots are not, it turns out, waterproof.

We headed for Ya'sta, to be told it was a boys only night, so continued up the road to Tupperware, a place I've been told about many times but never yet been. At least that's what I thought- as soon as I got in the door the 'I've been here before!' feeling hit me. I don't think many places have a silver glittery wall and lots of little red plastic tv sets filled with old toys. I went when I'd just arrived in Madrid with Spanish friends, but never knew what it was called. This makes me really cool and Madrid-ian.

I've also taken the night bus home twice now, which makes me brave and economical. So far they're not half as scary as Parisian night buses but last night it was so steamed up inside I almost missed my stop. Didn't though. Good night all round.

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