Itâ€™s strange to be one day in one country, wake up and be in another the next day. When I open my eyes in the dark, I could be anywhere.
Ruth and I have come back to Lloret De Mar where we celebrated our honeymoon 14 years ago. When we came then, it was summer and full of sun worshippers; now it is a virtual ghost town peopled by folks looking for a cheap escape or to chase the last rays of warm sun.
At breakfast we gobbled down the usual fair in these cheap hotels â€“ rolls, something that passes for sandwich meat, off-branded cereal that tastes like something you might feed to your pet gerbil, cheap pastries, soggy bacon, water-logged scrambled eggs and coffee that tastes like tar no matter how much sugar you add to it.
Later, we wander around the town looking for our honeymoon hotel (we would have stayed there, but even during the off-season the cost was more than we wanted to pay â€“ money killed romance and left her broken body for the worms). The town is more alive than I thought; there are plenty of shoppers, holidaymakers and general folk wandering around the many inviting side streets â€“ a shoppers and food loversâ€™ paradise. A t-shirt catches my eye that claims to sum up the Spanish sporting life:
A Spanish triathlon: drinking, eating, and fucking (little stick figures out each scenario).
Another t-shirt, one I end up buying, says:
You laugh because Iâ€™m different; I laugh because you are all the same.
We find our honeymoon hotel and touch a little history. It hasnâ€™t changed much in 14 years; or maybe it has and only looks the same because of the fixed mental image in our minds.
We pass a church. A crowd gathers to watch a bum beat his bitch on a bench in the churchyard. The people stand and stare, watching this scene unfold before God, with bemused looks on their faces unable to act, unable to turn away. Ruth and I walk by this surreal scene; spectators of the human drama not wanting to intervene least we become participants in the drama.