Saturday 9 March 2013


I want to write about nothing in particular, well it's about people actually. I love to go to Girona on Saturday mornings, it's usually buzzing with loads of people around. I went to a favourite café which also has a shop selling wonderful pastries and bread. I just wanted a coffee but the girl serving was either taking orders, talking on the phone or visiting the shop. I waited ages and normally I'm very patient in these situations but my return bus is at 1.15 so I have a schedule to keep. So I left (but came back later to explain). I walked around the corner and there was a small jazz band playing (this was in Santa Clara, near to Plaça de Independencía if you know Girona).

I sat down at a nearby bar and ordered a coffee. But when it was served, the woman was virtually walking away from my table as she dumped the cup on the table. Arghh, I find that very rude. But my morning improved greatly later as I walked through the open-air market to Mercadona supermarket and on to the bus stop at Hospital Dr Trueta to pick up my bus home.

So, on the subject of manners....

I visited my gestor, my accountant, a few days ago and, as I walked into reception the receptionist was on the phone. "Bon Día", she said without looking up. "Are you talking to me?", I asked! "Digam", she said, still not looking up. I assumed that this really was for me. Literally, (diga me) it means "talk to me" but it's the custom here and not considered impolite. So I explained the purpose of my visit. I wasn't really offended, I thought it was rather funny, actually.

It's a basic requirement for the job if one is dealing with people, I think, to be pleasant. One of the art shops in Girona has an assistant (normally on his own) who is the most cheerless person you could imagine. But maybe it is a requirement when discussing how much they are going to charge you to frame your painting. By contrast, sometimes there is a young woman serving at the shop and you couldn't imagine a greater contrast. She has green hair, for a start, which matched almost perfectly her green jumper so that it appeared to merge into it. She is jolly and cheery and, last time I was in the shop, she asked me about my previous purchase which was some acrylic gel medium which I use as an adhesive sometimes.

And finally, let me tell you about the tea at Hotel Ultonia. I dropped by for a mug of tea and the mug is served with hot water and a sachet of Earl Grey tea in a trendy little plastic bag. But the tea failed to materialise in the water and it remained the colour of pale dishwater. In the end I asked for another sachet of tea but it didn't make any difference. Maybe the water wasn't hot enough but I think it came out of the boiling water tap on the coffee machine. I just think someone somewhere is making a lot of money recycling tea leaves, or maybe making plastic tea leaves that look like tea.

Next time I go, I'll take one of my Tetley tea bags and use that. Maybe I should carry one for such eventualities like my mobile phone and iPod. "That's tea" I shall say. I did say to the young girl with a smile that I was an expert on tea because I was English but it hardly raised a flicker!

See, I told you this post was about nothing in particular!