Spanish Teen Group Conclude That The National Cuisine Is "Overrated" And "Bland"
MADRID, SPAIN - A word association game turned into an eye-opening life lesson for one group of young English learners in Madrid this past week.
The group’s teacher, Frank, sets the scene. “It all started out with a pretty innocent word association game. We were focussing on adjectives as much as possible and the whole thing was going pretty well. I was as happy as Larry because I knew it would burn up some time at the end of class. Anyway, we someone got to the topic of food and then Spanish food and of course, that’s when all the ‘delicious, tasty, amazing, gorgeous’, started to come out.”
Frank continues, “That was the moment when Carlos, looking for attention as usual, blurts out ‘terrible’. There was stunned silence. Because my DOS was always busting me for too much TTT, I just kept my mouth shut and waited. As I looked at their tiny little faces I could see something happening behind their eyes. It was like seeing a crack appear in a great big dam.”
According to Frank, the youngsters were paging through their notes at a rate never seen before. “Between their notebooks and some of them on their phones, we went through some great vocabulary. That’s when I knew I had them in the palm of my hand. I drilled longer expressions such as, ‘I wouldn’t feed it to a dog’ and ‘It’s like something they’d give you on Fear Factor’. I was pretty chuffed with how I extended the activity.
Mercedes, 15, recalls the moment clearly. “At first I was shocked at the others saying negative things. I mean, my brain couldn’t process it. This idea that Spanish food is the best in the world and nothing comes close is almost like a mass brainwashing that begins when you are born. Now, I realise I need to take those things with a great big pinch of salt,” she giggles.
Angel, 14, chimes in. “Let’s not lose the run of ourselves here. When you think stop and think about a tortilla de patatas, you come to realise that it’s just some potatoes and eggs and maybe some onions if you like. I think we’ve been sold a lie…”