Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Monday 19th - right bus, wrong direction.

After the chaotic night in Cartagena, I slept well and spent the morning getting up-to-date with my blog. One of the promises I made to Nini was that I would take her - or her mum - to a supermarket and buy food. We arranged to meet in Cuba at 3pm.

I decided to take a bus but although I caught the right bus, no 39, I caught it in the wrong direction. The bus station which is right in front of my apartment is very busy with two levels with buses coming and going like bees around a hive. The whole web of roads around the bus station is a kind of helter-skelter, with lots of curves.

(I took the photo at 7am Weds 23rd, as you can see, very grey and cloudy)

I even asked someone where I catch the bus for Cuba and I told the driver where I was going. So I ended up taking the scenic route and headed off into town. At least one useful thing. I discovered that the 39 bus goes to Arborlera Shopping Mall, so that is worth knowing. I had left lots of time to get to Cuba but, half an hour later, I was back at the bus station this time on the upper level. Nini and her family once caught a bus home and I was pretty sure I had been on the wrong (lower) level. From the bus station, the journey was very quick so in fact I arrived at the supermarket more or less on time. I phoned Nini and a short while afterwards, I met her and her daughter Sofia.

(Later, when talking to Nini, I realised that I was on the right level but that it is necessary to ask the driver which direction he is going. So it was his mistake because I told him where I was going. But, no matter!)

I hadn't eaten due to my extended bus journey and neither had they, so we went to a café for some food. Sofia was in a very happy mood. Sometimes Nini has to force food down her mouth and she cries. So she played with the food putting it on a barbecue stick to entice the young girl. Maybe I said before, Sofia is 3.

The we went to the supermarket. The trolley had a toy car underneath for Sofia and Nini used a calculator to keep track of the cost. She had promised it would be around 200mils (68 euros). Then we went to buy food for the Novenas, the pre-Christmas count-down which is celebrated here but I haven't seen it in Spain. I guess it is a little like an Advent Calendar except as the name suggests, it is 9 days before Christmas.

We went back to Nini's home with a taxi-load of bags of food. We then started discussing Christmas Eve, or they just call it the 24th. I gradually realised that more people were coming than I was expecting. I had offered to pay for the immediate family of mum, Nini and Sofi but the number soon swelled to 7. Luisa and her family were coming too. And I think that I was being lined up to pay for it. So I said that the cost should be shared. The following day, that was agreed. But it was a slightly tricky moment.

At about 7pm, I took a taxi back home but half-way along Ave de las Americas, the taxi hit a wobbling motor-bike rider. Fortunately she wasn't hurt but the taxi was slightly damaged. I saw her before he did, so I could see the accident coming. We must have caused a big traffic jam because the road is very busy. After a while I got impatient waiting for the driver to exchange details with the rider so I swapped to another taxi. I didn't pay him for the ride so far. I guess I could have offered him something but he was more worried about his taxi. I guess he doesn't own it. All the taxis are the same design, in yellow.

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