Never Order a Spanish Nun for Dessert

A young sailor reunited with his wife after a four-month separation. The ship was still deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and currently docked in the Spanish island of Majorca. The young wife had flown alone from the United States to the island to see her husband. The ship would be in port for nine days. They were enjoying seven days together.

They spent the third day on a tour of one part of the island. The small van stopped at a stone building for the evening meal. They roasted sausages over an open fire as appetizers while the rest of the meal was prepared in the kitchen.

Neither the husband or wife spoke Spanish. He fumbled through minimal phrases and keywords in an honest attempt to communicate. There was always a great deal of gesturing and pointing involved. Tonight was no exception.

The couple shared a table with several older ladies who apparently were a retired group of friends on holiday together. They spoke Spanish and some English and did their best to include the young couple in the mealtime conversation. They attempted to offer marital and general life advice to the young couple as most older people seem to do worldwide. The young couple politely listened and did a lot of nodding and smiling to encourage their seniors.

The meal came to a pleasant end phase and the waiter came around to take dessert orders. The young sailor confidently ordered what he thought was a coffee, but his mispronunciation triggered a burst of laughter from all the older ladies. The waiter joined in as well.

The older ladies wagged their fingers at him and repeatedly said, “No, no. You have a beautiful wife. You should not ask for this.”

It took a few moments of back-and-forth explanation and clarification for the young man to understand he had mangled the word so badly it could have been interpreted as a request for a female member of the Capuchin order to complete his dinner experience.


Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.

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