It's been a good day in Spain.
It all started bright and early at El Árbol, when an old woman asked if I'd help her reach the things she needed from the top shelves. I tend to be on the other side of that question, you understand. But, today, damn if I didn't reach every product. I was wearing my magic Camino de Santiago boots; I think they stretched me.
Later, as I politely looked for someone to whom I could quietly ask which of the 6 closed cash register lanes we should line up at, the same firey old woman gave me a lesson in living in Spain. She bellowed "¿QUIÉN VIENE A LA CAJA?" ("WHO'S COMING TO THE REGISTER?") without moving an inch. A cashier arrived in seconds.
Back at home, my Spanish teacher gave me nothing but praise for the day's piece of writing.
When I mentioned I was expecting my teacher, a client blurted out "But why do you have a Spanish teacher?"
God bless her and all of her offspring.
When I explained I was working on my Spanish writing, she neglected to comment on the brilliance and grammatical perfection of my business letters. I'm taking it as a sign the classes are a good idea.
But wait! There's more:
A few minutes after two, homemade morcilla and chorizo del pueblo walked through my front door, across my grill and onto the table, where they puffed up proud alongside boquerones en vinagre, fat, tasty olives, a bit of aged manchego, a good loaf of bread, a crunchy salad topped with toasted walnuts and the thick, rich balsamic I bought in Assisi and a lovely Ribera del Duero.
I told you it was a good day.
The food and I were joined by two charming Salmantinas who tripled the decibel level in this working-space apartment from the moment they came into view. Voices were raised. Points were argued. Arms flailed about and items unlucky enough to be in arm's way crashed to the floor.
One of these two cielos, one of these raucus angels laid before me a plate with queso fresco and a few of the figs, the figs, oh, the candied figs her mother made by the jarful late last summer.
And the gods smiled. And launched into a rousing rendition of Nina Simone's I Feel Good.
And together we nodded, the gods and I, and gave each other knowing looks.
A good day.