I get more perspective on human language as I'm staying afloat in a Sea of Spanish. I point to something at the charcuterie and read the little sign stuck into what looks like a smoked pork chop and gesture as to how thick to cut it and become addicted to chuletas Sajonias (chops, Saxon style) or the same meat without bone as filetes sajonias. Before long I'm getting slices of chorizo and other marvels.
Then I go to the pescador counter and prawns are called langostinos and mussels are mejillos and the tuna for my sashimi is atun, which he slices from a huge slab. The carniceria is less interesting because I still make a pretense at vegetgarianism.
The produce section has a really dazzling array of mostly familiar items, but of marvelous quality. A bag of Clementina tangerines keeps me busy for a couple of days.
The hashish is outstanding, the people are super-friendly and the women startlingly beautiful. I don't know how I missed knowing about Madrid all these years but I'm sure glad we found each other.