While opening the store today, I had the following conversation:
Man: (in Spanish) Hello. Do you by any chance speak Spanish?
Me: Yes, a little.
Man: Do you know where the GLKSNDOGINSDG MARAY is?
Me: Do you mean the Marais?
Man: Yes, the GLKSNDOGINSDG MARAY.
Me: (Um... I don't know what a GLKSNDOGINSDG is... but is he askaing for the Marais? The neighborhood? Like, the 'Marais section'? That would make sense, but...) Well, go straight down this street and when you see the store BHV, turn down the street on your left. It's called rue Vielle du Temple.
Man: Ok, that's easy. No problem...What GLKSNDOGINSDG are we in now?
Me: What what?
Man: What GLKSNDOGINSDG?
Me: (shit, he totally knows that I don't know what a GLKSNDOGINSDG is) It's called Chatelet.
Man: (seeming satisfied): Oh, ok. Is the GLKSNDOGINSDG MARAY far from here?
Me: No. Five minutes, maybe ten.
Man: There is an old cafe there, a really old one, where TOINSG used to go?
Me: A caf�?
Man: Yes, an old one, really famous. TOINSG, you know?
Man: (Laughs) Thank you (and a genuine pat on the shoulder towards me)
I hope he was just asking where the Marais quarter was. Spanish varies so much that I think it was just some other word for 'hood in whatever type of Spanish he spoke (Argentine? Chilean? No idea... definetly not from Spain, though)
Overall: way better than last year's conversation in Spanish in the Luxembourg gardens where I said, "There will be an exit, and then a street, and then you will see your building." Not so helpful, really but that was all I could say. And then "Left" or "Right". Still, I don't know what the man today was exactly talking about, and I sincerely hope he was looking for the Marais, or I was totally off.
Right now, there are lots of Spaniards in town. I have practised my Spanish three times this week alone, and I even used it to talk to some Portuguese people interested in Russian ballet. Also, a French woman came in today with a Japanese woman, and spoke in Japenese to her about Chinese art, while an Italian guy looked at architecture books in English. I felt like Spanish should have been useful there, too, but no. Not really.