After eight months in Madrid, you find that you unwittingly become completely immersed in the Spanish way of life, and the contrast with your own cultural background is no longer something that you notice on a very regular basis. This is true to the extent that sitting in on converstions about the previous nights bullfight, the latest flamenco album or yet another bitching session about the French, are normal, everyday events.
However that said, I could live here for another twenty years and one thing in particular will always remain completely foreign and absurd to me.
Such was the case yesterday when I ordered a toasted ham and cheese sandwich in the cafe below my apartment. The barman on bringing my food apologised that he was out of ham and so he kindly took it upon himself, at no extra cost, to use "ear" instead.
I have no doubt that this will become one of the defining moments of my time here. I now realise you can take the Man out of Meath but you can´t take Meath out of the Man.