I’m dressed in a shirt with frayed cuffs again in a country where even the tiniest of tots is dressed immaculately in pressed clothes. However I no longer despair at the pitying (or incomprehending) glances that I draw. I yam what I yam.
I’m treated with polite suspicion in the bars I go into. My attempts at Spanish are strictly limited to ordering beer for me and lemonade for the kids; I’m limited with French and my Spanish is hopeless at best.
The Spanish are a very sociable people. I’m sitting in bars nursing my beer and reading a novel or writing in my Moleskine, but I’ve yet to see a Spaniard read a novel or newspaper in a bar or cafe. Instead they congregate in small groups and engage in earnest banter, about which I am absolutely clueless. They contrive to be both languid and animated at the same time. Everyone who walks into or out of the bar says ‘Hola!’ to everyone else; they can’t possibly all know each other…. or can they?