Saturday, September 23, 2006

Three gestures

In my travels in the past week three gestures, spied on the street, reminded me that however much Spain may change, there is still something so very Spanish about it:

In Soto de Luiña (Asturias): The garbage truck pulls into the one parking spot left on the town´s one street. It happens to be in front of the church. So, as he comes around the the passenger side to pull out his broom, the garbage man crosses himself.

In Madrid: I arrive home late on a warm September night. Propped against the wall of the San Andres church is a group of grungy looking jovenes drinking beer. One begins to sing flamenco with much fervor. The others join in clapping.

In Barcelona: I am walking down a street that is being torn up for re-paving. The noise and the dust are terrible, and the street--what remains of it--is treacherously uneven. Suddenly I feel a hand on my elbow: it´s an elderly woman, asserting her right to take the arm of any passerby, in order to safely traverse the street.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another from my friend Willow, who was buying clams in the fish market the other day when a woman stepped up and said to her "no, I should go first. I'm old. You are young. You can wait. I should go first because I am old."

so Willow patiently stood back and waited. Afterward, the woman patted her and said "thank you," and then said to the fishmonger "don't worry. She understands. I'm old, I should go first. This is a young person who understands."