Madrid Roadtrip – Day Three – When Diane Meets Catherine


Again we had decided to wake on the brink of dawn – at least respectably late dawn – around 8 AM or so. The weather was grey but not inclement and we were grateful for the sole fact it was not raining for after all this was November in France, not the mellowest month of all.
We made our way down to the ’stable’ where our hostess had laid an even more impressive breakfast than the one we’d had the day before. She had concocted several jams of her own devise: one could read on the handwritten labels such intriguing mixtures of pumpkin and lemon, zucchini with orange, apple with carrot… She had carefully laid the jam preserves in an S shape across the table. There were surely 10 or 15 different flavors to choose from. And to go with them, we had bread of all sorts – fresh from the baker’s – as well as croissants. This time we were the only guests present and had the table to ourselves though it could have easily catered for 10 or more. We soon got to banter and happy chit-chat with the lady who soon pulled out a folder where she’d proudly maintained translations of her ‘Welcome to the Buisson’ text. And believe it or not, although the folder did contain 10 or so languages, it had neither Spanish nor Portuguese which are 2 of the most widespread languages in the world. It did have however such remote languages as Corean and whimsical ones as Creole. Disheartened by this absence in her booklet, JuanLu and I decided to translate to Spanish and Portuguese. While Spanish was a wheeze, Portuguese proved more grueling to the point that I could not recall some basic words. For instance, I was incapable of remembering the word for pillow. We knew it in Spanish (almohada) but could not recall the Portuguese equivalent. A few days later we had the opportunity to check and as it turns out, we were a mere letter short as almohada translates to almofada in the lusitanian tongue. Eventually, in spite of my lack of vocabulary, both JuanLu and I managed to produce a scraggy translation that would have had Camões and Pessoa uneasily shifting in their seats.
Shortly afterward, the morning melting away into early afternoon, we headed off to Chenonceau for a slice of French history.


to be continued…