For those of you who may be wondering: No, that isn’t a Typo in the title – and I’m not talking about cutting anything, despite it being Halloween earlier this week.
What it is, is the Welsh spelling for “Sauce.”
What does this have to do with anything? Well, let me tell you a story:
I’ve been learning Welsh via DuoLingo. I’m on a 900 day streak, and I’m pretty sure that I could survive in Wales if they didn’t put the English translation on darn near every sign.
This is a good thing because “In Wales” is exactly where I am at the Minute.
More on that later on.
While DuoLingo was teaching me the Welsh words for colors, I came across the concepts of “Red Sauce” and Brown Sauce.”
It was completely out of context, and I had no idea what either of them were.
When I arrived in Wales, I made the decision to jump directly into the culture. I’ve tried as much of the local fare as I could and I discovered a few things: I like Leeks, Welsh Beer, when you can get it, is pretty good, and I learned about Red and Brown sauce.
We (my wife and I) were at the cafe outside the remains of Castell Harlech (Harlech Castle), looking to get a bite to eat. I opted for a sausage roll, since I was familiar with everything else on the menu. It was at that moment they asked if I wanted Red or Brown sauce.
I somehow managed to maintain a cool exterior, as I thought about which one of these new things I would like to experience (It never occurred to me to try both) and I eventually decided on Red Sauce.
We went to our table with our drinks and I wondered about what was to come.
That was when my wife joked thusly:
I’ll bet you just ordered a hot dog with ketchup.
Now if, some days ago, you noticed a particular disturbance in The Force, that was because I was at the center of the most vehement, and most concentrated ball of denial on the planet. Possibly several planets.
It Could Not Be So. I had not flown clear across an ocean, scaled the towers of this centuries old castle, and felt the robust Welsh Wind upon my face (I really like the wind here, more on that later on perhaps) only to return to this cafe to order a hot dog with ketchup.
Which is, exactly (kinda) what they brought out to me. I say “Kinda” because it didn’t come in a typical hot-dog bun, like you’d expect, and it wasn’t like a Ballpark Frank.
Those differences aside, what I got was, in essence, a hot dog with ketchup.
I am still chuckling about it, even as I type this and, if I forget every other scrap of Welsh, I’ve learned, or will ever learn, I will *Never* forget Red or Brown sauce.
Which, if you’re curious, is:
Saws Coch (Red)
Saws Brown (Only pronounced with a hard ‘O’)
There are two morals to this story.
First (and most important) is that you should be ready, willing, and able to laugh at yourself at any time.
Second is that while it’s good to keep your head in the clouds, to imagine all sorts of new and wonderful things and experiences…It’s also not a bad idea to keep at least one foot on the ground.
Because Ketchup is ketchup, no matter what you call it.
Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.
I’ll see you on Thursday.
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