an idiot in spain

santiago diaries

Saturday, 23rd September.
4 eggs in a plastic bag

"The first thing I heard this morning was you yelling out 'Bugger!'" laughed Noelle.
"Oh you should've seen it," Barb said, "it was so funny. Ian sat up in bed, looked down, and actually smiled and said 'Good morning' or something like that! I thought, this is unusual, Ian smiling in the morning, then he slid across the bunk and whacked the side of his head on a metal girder!" Barb, Noelle and Dave had a good old laugh at my expense.

Bugger indeed. And then I found out that we didn't need to be up that early anyway, because they kitchen area didn't open until 7:30, and guess where a fair swag of our food was...

We stopped at Boadilla del Camino for lunch. Just your average fare of bocadillos, then the girls discovered the toilet.

It was a squatting affair, and the loo had an over-exuberant flush. Noelle was first, and then gave us a running commentary on what Barb would be doing...
"Ok, now she's standing up, looking for how to flush the toilet, she's found it, look out Barb here's comes the water!" A yelp came from the loo as Barb jumped backwards.

Both the girls were proud of their aim. "Right in the hole!" boasted Barb. I told them that soon they'll be able to write their names in the snow. Barb then tried to demonstrate how she would write her name in the snow - it involves a lot of jiggling about and waggling her arse etc.

It was my turn to cook, so we went to the shop next door to buy food for this evening. We would have to lug it a fair way, but on a Saturday you just never know what's going to be open. We bought cream, cheese, pasta, bacon but we still needed the eggs. "We only need four," I said, "let's see if we can buy four." We let Linguist Dave do the talking. Out came the phrasebook - the word for eggs? Huevos. Ok. Dave is psyched up. Let's see what he can do.

"Quatro hewvohs, por favor!" The shopkeeper gave Dave a completely blank look. "Ah, hewvohs..." Dave repeated. Oh dear. Dave's brand of Spanish wasn't working. "Ahem, huevos," I uttered. Dave gave me a puzzled look. "Quatro huevos" Noelle said to the shopkeeper. "Ah! Huevos!" he remarked and shuffled over to the eggs.

He rummaged around and found a small bag. I whirled around and faced my travelling companions. "He's-putting-them-in-a-bag!" I said, disbelief scrawled all over my face in big letters. He faffed about for a moment, then went into the back room. "Phew!" I said, "Maybe he's getting a carton now."

A moment later he reappeared, still with this little plastic bag. I was all shock-horror-disbelief as he squeezed four eggs into this plastic bag, twirled it around and handed it over. "He's put them in a bag!" I gasped. Dave volunteered to carry the eggs.

As we set off I said to Noelle, "Does Dave have the eggs in his backpack?"
"Yes!" she replied.
"There goes a brave man," I remarked.
"No, there goes a stupid man!" laughed Noelle.

The eggs were still intact when we arrived at Fromista. We met a couple of South African ladies at the supermarket who knew about Uncle Howard, the rogue New Zealander! He's becoming a bit of an enigma. We arrived at the refugio to discover that there's no kitchen. The refugio in the next town supposedly has a kitchen, so after a short rest we head off to Poblacion de Campos.

Poblacion de Campos is, as we used to say at the Evandale Post Office, a "good place to be from". That is, you no longer live there. The refugio was tiny, the kitchen ill-equipped. It's a self-run refugio, in an old schoolhouse. We grabbed beds, I killed the large insect living in mine and discard the grotty looking blankets and pillow.

In the twilight we visited the local bar, located not far from the refugio. Then again in a town that size everything's close by. Every bloke in this town looked the same: moustache, blue jeans, checked shirt. Imagine if one of them went missing, and the wife had to report it to the police. "Could you please describe your husband?"
"Well he has a moustache, he was wearing blue jeans and a checked shirt."
Half-an-hour later, "Good news senora, we've found your husband! In fact we've found ten of him."