Someday, I’ll write the really good, salacious stories that illustrate how racist Spain is, but for today, here’s a little something to whet your appetite.
Sitting with a friend at a bar in Barcelona on a hot, hot day like all the others I spent there, I order a Coke Zero and she a regular Coke. Our drinks arrive a little while later and as the waiter is putting them on the table, her back goes rigid and her temper, aggravated by the heat, flares.
“I didn’t order this! I’m in Spain and I want Spanish Coca-Cola! Take. This. Back.”
The waiter starts to say that this is the only Coke they have and she gets up from the table, dragging me along.
“Then we are leaving!”
Looking back longingly at my Coke Zero sweating it out on the table, I saw that her Coke had weird lettering on it, indicating that it came from somewhere close to Russia.
Later, drinking locally-sourced Cokes, I told her how in the US, Mexican Coke is highly prized because it tastes better. (It’s made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.) She was horrified by this information but recovered quickly, making disparaging remarks about Mexicans and their relative levels of cleanliness.
I let the topic drop since convincing Spaniards that they’re racist jerks is a futile endeavor and I just don’t have the energy to engage with them on every big and little thing they do that’s offensive.
But I do think of her every time I get Coke that “fell off the back of a truck” as is sometimes the case when I order food from a local place. I don’t understand how the economics of this works out, surely the transport alone negates any savings, but it all tastes good to me. (And it’s always still better than US Coke, so I’m still winning.)