That’s what I got called while I was running to catch a cab in Barcelona.
(My friend says they could have been saying it to her, too. But it’s doubtful.)
It was my first night on this trip (which I shall write about soon). We were having a wonderful time in Barcelona when we realized after 45 minutes of trying to get a cab back to our hotel that ALL of them were occupied. Calling cab companies became fruitless because our broken Spanish didn’t help. We walked for blocks trying different roads. We looked at bus routes. We finally gave up for a bit and settled on sharing a cider. As any normal person should do in times of despair.
We explained our situation to the waiters and they were incredibly nice. They even called cab companies for us and it looked hopeful…until they explained there was a medical convention in town with 30,000 doctors. Good for my two single gal-pals, not so good for finding a cab. He told us walking was too far as our hotel was in a residential area (Barcelona is big, by the way) and the metro was closed. So, just as we were getting directions on which busses to take back, our waiter spotted an OPEN cab!
He went running without saying a word.
My friend saw what he was doing and sprinted after him. I grabbed our stuff and my other girlfriend went to pay the tab.
I took off huffing, throwing my camera in my bag mid-run.
I passed a table outside of about 10 men, eating, drinking, enjoying the night.
That’s when I heard it.
I knew it meant chubby or fat. I knew in the tone it was said, it wasn’t a term of endearment.
I remember taking one more step in my run, asking myself, “How the HELL are you going to respond to this? Ignore it? Try to spout off broken Spanish?”
You have to put this in context. I had flown and traveled over 21 hours that day. I was tired. I was bummed we couldn’t find a cab. I was pissed these a-holes thought I didn’t understand what they had called me. I felt an obligation to stand up for all “las gorditas.” No one looks good mid-sprint! Especially after 21 hours of travel. Regardless, it’s totally shitty to say to someone.
So I did what any hot-blooded American would do.
I stopped dead in my tracks. Turned around with the precision of a soldier on her heels, ready to stomp to attention. Looked at all of them in their eyes. Raised both of my hands up in the air.
And gave them the glorious one-finger salute.
There was an awkward pause. Then solid laughter and pointing from his friends at the jerk who said it.
I wasn’t laughing. It’s not funny.
But I definitely smirked as I turned around and walked back to our cab.