Bon dia! (That is Catalan) I am having a lovely holiday – able to indulge two of my passions at once – learning languages & making friends with animals or humans.
We are in a campsite just outside Caldes de Montbui which isn’t far from Barcelona.
This is only my first full day here but already I’ve been out adventuring. Please note that this holiday could end up as another book to rival Four Go Mad in Catalonia about our last disastrous attempt to vacation around this area. If you haven’t read it you can download it free from Goodreads, there don’t say I never give you freebies!
Yesterday I thought Badger was going to explode when we found the supermarket but couldn’t find the way in from the roundabout. In true Spanish style the sign “Entrada” was visible but apparently inaccessible. Once in there, he found he was going the wrong way around a one-way parking and the air was a shade of indigo hardly ever seen ashore. However, armed with the knowledge he could find it again, he wanted to shop and I happily linked Lily up for a “nice long walk”. You must remember that Badger is 76 years old and only enjoys strolling.
So we trotted off into the nearest bit of town to the campsite which proved to be a suburb/outlying village of Caldes. Employing my usual method of blending-in by smiling at people as if I belong and using the Catalan “Bon Dia” instead of the Castillian Buenos Dias – hah! I could be a local even though I only have about six expressions in Spanish. Today I came up against a Castillian who gave me a Buenos Dias with accompanying frown so I bowed respectfully and said “Perdon, Señor, Buenas Dias” for which I got a gratifying blush. See me? I do languages, I do!
Lily and I explored that part of town with me on the look -out for a ciggie shop (no I haven’t stopped yet – given a bit of stress-free, I will consider it this holiday). Not having found one, I asked directions of a nice wee Arab lad in a shop and we had a conversation in French, English and Catalan with me thanking him in Arabic at the end. Pity I am not fluent in any of them!!!!
My huge laugh was ordering coffee outside a café where I lost the words for a large black coffee. Go on – someone tell me what it is in English? With the new Americanized naming system? So I explain “café sin azugar, sin leche” (no sugar, no milk) grande – and I get what I wanted. I pester the Japanese waitress to tell me how to order it in Spanish … go on… you got it – uno Americano, por favor! (headslap!)
New friends included a ferocious-looking crop-eared Doberman who came rushing up to me so I beamed at him, opened my arms and told him he was beautiful. I got my face washed for that and his young male owner looked slightly relieved and slightly pissed-off. Old grannies are supposed to be scared of him. Nope, not happening, matey, not with this Granny. She LOVES dogs.
My two resident mates on the campsite are a jennet donkey and what I thought was a pony but turns out to be a mule. They have adopted me and screech if I walk by without chatting to them. The mule has a nasty skin condition called sweet-itch so I’ve asked permission to borrow their grooming kit so I can get up close and give them both a good brushing. That will help – as will the healing I’ve started. Well believe it or don’t – I am not bothered, but a lot of people in my home village have gone in for cancer treatment clutching a talisman I made for them and swore it helped. It’s headology with people – with animals, you see the results.
A little German terrier about the same size as Lily has adopted us and won’t leave our awning. No matter – we have enough dog biscuits for everyone and all are welcome. Sort of our motto for life, really.
I must have walked about four miles this morning and it did us both good. My confidence, which took a helluva knock with the motorbike accident, is now returning and I’m going to get some writing done here.
All for now – hasta mañana (see you tomorrow) xxxxxxxxxx