The Tapas Game (Sung to the tune of “The Name Game”)
After breakfast, I had no choice but to relent to the overpowering jetlag pulling at my legs like quicksand. I was finally able to emerge from my bed in the early evening and made a beeline out the door to seek out some nourishment. After winding up and down the quaint and picturesque alleyways surrounding the area in which I am staying, El Barri Gotic (The Gothic Quarter), I finally decided on tapas at Orio. I spotted some small bar tables in the back and looked forward to getting back to a gripping magazine article, “Getting Schooled: The re-education of an American teacher.” The article appears in Harper’s magazine and is one of the best I have ever read about teaching and is written by a teacher.
But instead of getting back to the riveting reading, I was seated at a communal table between one couple and a group of three – none of whom were speaking in Spanish or English. When the group of three left a couple of minutes later, I was asked to move to another table so a group of four could sit where I had been. In the past I know I would have felt uncomfortable and at least a little embarrassed to sit alone in the middle of the table with no one to talk be with. Surprisingly, I felt completely comfortable and thoroughly enjoyed my food and the atmosphere.
The tapas were displayed on plates covering the bar and the “tapas system” is a lot of fun, it’s like a game. You pick the tapas you want and put them on your plate. As you eat them, you leave the toothpicks on your plate. Then the game is over and the fun and novelty of “The Tapas Game” comes to a screeching halt when the waiter comes over to count the toothpicks and charges you for each tapa you had taken.