Monday, May 30, 2005

What’s in a name?

The restaurant was quiet that Thursday evening. The waiter a tall and pleasant young man greeted us in Spanish before moving effortlessly into English. He told us about his experiences whilst working in Wales in an effort to practice his language skills.

On a nearby table four men were discussing travel arrangements back to the UK. Two of them would prefer to travel by micro light following the Mediterranean coast, whilst the others would ride high powered motorcycles; tracking their progress. It seemed, from their conversation that riding through the Pyrenees was deemed to be rather more arduous than flying over them.

The food was good, as was the service. We had enjoyed our evening and expressed our satisfaction to the waiter when he returned.

Having engaged the waiter in conversation. The young man told us about the advantages of having both German and Spanish parents. He was naturally bi-lingual.

Before adding;

“I was raised here in Spain, so my parents decided I should have a Spanish name to make life easier at school for me”

Very sensible of them we acknowledged.

So what did they call you? we asked, guessing Miguel, Antonio…

“Fernando” he replied

Neither of us spoke though instinctively knew what the other was thinking.

The waiter spoke, “Apparently many years ago there was a song”.

An ironic smile played across his face as he offered a slight bow before turning and walking away.

Parents …priceless!

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