Puta Fight: The moment I realized I really knew my Spanish

I’ve only been in a handful of fights in my life. Three of those occurred in foreign countries, in foreign languages. Two in Spain and one here, last night. In spanish.

I’m not an angry person, nor am I pessimistic, begrudging, nor generally against the world. However, I am feisty. Ask any of my friends and they can {lovingly} confirm this fact.

Before I get into the details of last night, I want to give you some background info in the form of my two Barcelona “brawls.”

{If you’d like to skip to last night’s epic encounter, scrolllllllll down}

The first was at Shoko, an infamous beach nightclub in Barcelona. A vendor was not leaving me and my roommate alone –incesentantly bothering my male roommate, trying to get him to buy me a rose. He. Wouldn’t. Go. Away. So finally after ten minutes I swear to you {and like three vodka limón’s on my end}, I snapped around, assaulted him with a profanity, then continued to glare him down.

Well….heh heh…….I underestimated this guy’s anger-scale. Because the next thing you knew, he had gone from a 0 on the chill-o-meter, to an off-the-charts, red-in-the-face, 100. He dropped his box of roses, pushed me, and was ready to take a good punch before my roommate intervened and held him back. My first reaction was shock, but then I got SOOOOO mad he pushed me -and was willing to punch me because of a damn flower- that I rose to the occasion. I began yelling at him in perfect spanish about how he should try to hit a girl and see what happens, how he lacked respect for bothering my friend and I, and how it was his fault -not mine- that the entire fight had begun in the first place. I’m pretty sure they call that “action-reaction.” {I wish I could say the end of this ended with me being some valiant winner with my fist pumped victouriously in the air, but really what happened was a bunch of other vendors pulled this annoying one away, while my roommate dragged me –still steaming at the ears– in the opposite direction}.

The second Spanish fight happened between me and a friend on the evening of Carnaval. Amy and I had taken a 2 hour train ride to Sitges, a beach town north of Barcelona, to celebrate Spain’s version of Picnic Day. Around 2 am that night, we decided it was time to go home. Only Amy decided the train station was up the cathedral stairs. No, you’re wrong, I said {I’m not really sure those were my words, but I wouldn’t be surprised if those were exactly what I bluntly/feistily uttered}. I had already decided the train station was down the cathedral stairs. Neither wanting to relent, we separated to venture out and find the train station on our own. Each of us held our ground and couldn’t wait to laugh in the loser’s face when she showed up hours later. {I’d like to preface Amy’s a feisty one too….hence why our friendship’s so strong}

Stupidest Fight Ever &. Stupidest Decision Ever. The two of us were so embarassed by the fight that it actually took weeks for us to talk about it. However, now that all is forgiven and absolved, here are the known continuations to each stupido’s story:

I walked around in a huff for about half an hour, looking for that damned train station.

Amy walked around in a huff for about half an hour, looking for that damned train station.

I decided it was time to give up. Just then, I ran into a group of friendly Spaniards, asking me what I was doing. I recounted the entire fight in Spanish, not sparing any details and adding quite a few dramatic embellishments. They told me they’d help me look for my friend, Amy. After recruiting them onto my search-and-rescue team, we began a three-hour and, in retrospective, very pointless search for Amy.

At that same time, Amy decided it was time to give up. After being approached by some weirdooooooo in a random street, she hailed a cab, and proceeded to take an 80 EURO cab ride back to Barcelona {we’re talking over $100 US}.

Where was I during her cab ride? Looking for her. Around 4:30 in the morning, the Spaniards admitted to me and themselves that it wasn’t looking good. Quieres regresar a nuestra casa? they asked. Defeated, I said yes, and ended up going home with a group of random-freaking Spaniards, in a random-freaking city, where I spent the night. WHAT THE HECK, RACHAEL?!!? 

What could have terminated as the main horror scene out of Hostel actually ended up pretty well with me in a comfy bed, with a great free breakfast of espresso and nutella toast in the morning, and a ride in my new friend Seba’s car to the train station…..where I proceeded to take a 2-hour train ride home. Getting to Barcelona, I embarassingly ran into my roommate, Hernán, in the train station who automatically assumed the worst when he saw my clothes from the night before. Little did he know of my ridiculous adventures that had all spawned from me acting too feisty to give in to Amy.


Now, this brings us to last night.

Never before have I had an issue with a coworker/employee/boss. Usually, everyone’s “all in it together” and –although there is always a respected hierarchy– teamwork is key. Well, as you all know, I am a bartender, working in Milhouse bar. The bar manager {I won’t name names} and I did not get along. He likes to belittle the workers to make it apparent he is in charge….”in charge”…..and adds me entiendes? to the end of every sentence. YesIunderstandhowtofoldnapkinswhatdoyouthinkI’mretarded?! I was warned going into the job by a former coworker of his ways, but figured it wouldn’t be anything that would prove problematic in one month’s time.


By week 2 I couldn’t hide the first humor, then annoyance, in my face as he asked me why I didn’t understand how to wash dishes {I didn’t realize one missed speck translated into a complete lack of dish-washing competence}. By week 2.5 {ya…..I progress rapidly}, I began responding to his demeaning rhetorical questioning. {some great ejemplos: Raquel, como que no entiendes que pones el huevo primero en un Pisco Sour, antes del pisco? Raquel, como que no entiendes que pones 7 octavos –no 8 octavos– de lima en un mojito?}. Apparently, I’m the only one with enough cajones here to say something. It humored me to watch him flare up more and more with each of my responses. By week 3, though, he was just plain nasty, saying snarky remarks and even one night threatening that I couldn’t leave on time because of my attitude {side note: this didn’t really matter anyways, because I had already stayed past 2 am every night regardless due to him continuing to play beer pong past the bar’s closing time. Major respect for the game, but come on…a girl’s gotta sleep. Or at least get to Mama Africa before the free drinks are up.}.

Then, last night, he told me to go help the kitchen staff wash dishes. They were behind due to a mix-up in the orders. The cook told me that really, the mix-up was one of the other bartender’s faults, but I like my co-worker so I didn’t bother to say anything. I just quietly chuckled at the fact that the bar manager needed to find some other passive-agressive way to lash out at me.

When the clock struck 10pm, it was time for me to leave. However, I stayed an extra few minutes finishing up some dishes in the kitchen. Then, I went to grab my purse and jacket and head out the door. As I was leaving he asked me why I couldn’t bother to stay longer to help out. If I forgot to mention before, three other un-occupied bartenders were on duty, including himself. We got into a spanish-throwing spat, which ended in me telling him to mirame as I walked out the door. Ten short minutes later, I heard the much-anticipated knock on my bedroom door and he walked in to continue our bar brawl.

What followed made me more mad yet more proud than I’ve been in a longggggggg time. Mad, obviously, because he’s completely incorrigible, immature, and boorish {such a key word to describe him}. But proud because I was able to hold my own as he yelled at me. And I –little Rachael {literally, as I’ve lost about ten pounds from this E. Coli bug}, in my pajamas, in bed, three days fresh out of the hospital– sat stickstraight up, spewing it right back at him as I let him know how disrespected and unappreciated he has made me and his other employees feel. Twas fun indeed. Except for the part at the end where it was decided I’m not working anymore. That part kind of sucked.

But I have all my coworkers forever on my team, and already solidified plans to GO TO BUENOS AIRES so I can’t complain all that much. Plus, he’s the one that has to live with himself. It was such an amazing experience working as a bartender, and it’s a shame it had to end this way…….but hey,  I held my own in a spanish word-dueling fuel.  And, DAMN, am I proud!

3 thoughts on “Puta Fight: The moment I realized I really knew my Spanish

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