Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Madrid: The Stress-Causing "Forest Man"

Confused? Don't be, because I'm about to explain.

Our tapas bar crawl with Sal the Blogging Legend was going along swimmingly; great company, weather, food, and wine. I think we paced ourselves very well in that my stomach never felt too full (at least not until the very end of the day), and I never felt like the wine/beer had produced more than a pleasant buzz. The three of us just meandered up and down the streets of Madrid at a calm pace, popped into a bar for a drink and a few plates of tapas, and then we'd amble off to the next place.

At one point, I recall that Sal told me that he had given our blog address to a Finnish colleague of his who works in Espoo so that she could, oh...I don't know, maybe see what a 100% Finnish person who lives in Switzerland looks like. Apparently, she told Sal that I looked like (...and I'm pretty sure this is how Sal put it...) "...a forest man." I thought this was really funny, and I kind of had a chuckle about it. It wasn't until we were flying home the next day that it dawned on me what the lady meant. Metsämies is the Finnish word for hunter. However, the word metsä translates in English to "forest", and the word mies translates to "man" - she had done a literal translation from Finnish to English. So, for whatever reason, this lady thinks I look like a hunter, which is kind of funny since I don't hunt (although I did once, rather impressively, shoot a bird...at about fifty yards...between the eyes...with a pellet gun when I was a kid). Actually, I kind of like "forest man" better. It kind of sounds like a monster who lives deep in the forest and only emerges at night...

The afternoon gave way to evening, and darkness began to wash over us. "Oh NO!! So many places to go, and so little time!" We looked to Sal for guidance, and he pointed us in the direction of a nice little bar called La Castela - which just happens to be his favorite tapas bar in Madrid. The three of us - Sal, Mrs. TBF, and the "Forest Man" - made our way to La Castela and found a cozy spot in the corner where we proceeded to order what would be our last tapas of the day.

I'm pretty sure that it was at La Castela that Mrs. TBF and I ("Forest Man") began telling Sal of how appreciative we were that he had taken the time, not only to spend the day with us, but actually conduct tapas research in advance to help ensure a successful crawl. At this point, Sal said something like: "Do you know how much pressure you guys put on me when you said that you were coming and wanted to do a tapas bar crawl?"

"Huh? Us?"

I was startled, and Sal assured me that it wasn't like he lost any sleep over it, but he did feel some pressure to show us a good time. Now, I kind of feel bad about this, because I think Mrs. TBF and I are about the easiest people in the world to host for this kind of thing; I mean, we'll eat pretty much anything (MMmmmmm, pig ears!), and we'll go just about anywhere. I would have been happy meeting up with Sal at a Burger King, but...I'm glad that he made the effort.

So, there you have it - I'm a stress-causing "forest man"!!! Who knew?

Sal: Thanks again for your hospitality. You are (as I've said numerous times) not only a blogging legend, but also a great host. We had a terrific time, and we really appreciate the efforts you made in setting up the tapas bar crawl. Hopefully, we'll be able to get together again soon. How about in Basel next time? Sure, it's not as exciting as Madrid, but I'm sure I could find something of interest for us to do.

Maybe, I'll even do a little research!


Angie said...

Having also enjoyed the hospitality of Sal the Blogging Legend (although not to quite the same extreme), I can also attest that he is a great host! (And that he has no body fat as far as we could tell.)

Glad you guys had a good time! The photos are great!

Bobby The C said...

Having never met Sal, I must also say that the font of his type is rather svelte as well. How dare you stress poor Sal out!

Sal DeTraglia said...

Oh...my "pressure" comment was really intended to be tongue in cheek.

But still...when two people fly halfway across Europe for the sole purpose of (a) hanging out with me, and (b) eating tapas...one can't help being overcome with the Eye of Tiger vis-a-vis planning and preparation.

For the record, we *DID* end up at Burger King last Saturday. :-O


The Big Finn said...

Angie - Welcome!

TMS - I think I might have a talent for bringing out the stress in people.

Sal - My post was also tongue in cheek. Yes...Burger King...God Bless America!

Unknown said...

sounds like a great time! Love the translation mix up story...

And look there is sun and no rain...

Bring some of that to Vancouver please!