Saturday, March 12, 2011
In a bad mood
We were in the Mercadona supermarket car park in Yecla. It's a tricky little car park, all wrong angles and sturdy pillars. As we stowed away our purchases I noticed that the car across the way was getting ready to leave. Another car turned the corner and could easily have waited for us both to go - reversing lights and open doors on the car were a dead give-away as to our intentions. But no, this bloke couldn't possibly wait a few seconds to make it easier for him and easier for us. He had to plough on blocking both of us from leaving. As the newcomer began to manoeuvre into the free space next to me he was within centimetres of bumping into my car. I didn't know where the horn was but I found it just in time. He decided to do a circuit and let us both go.
A little later we were at the "Feria de la Tapa" - lots of stalls selling lots of snacks. Spaniards and eating definitely go together. I usually enjoy the crowds, the life, the hustle and bustle but today it just seemed that everyone was determined to slam into me. I was standing quietly at a counter waiting to get some michirones. I wasn't looking forward to asking, I was sure that, given my mood even the simplest phrase would elude me and I was cross with myself because of that. Suddenly a fat, fifty something woman purposely barged into me in an attempt to get past me and to the front. I repulsed the first onslaught and with a quick shoulder movement sent her staggering backwards. She just picked the wrong moment. She's probably complaining on her blog about the rude foreigners as I type.
Obviously these are a couple of isolated events but I've been noticing a certain disregard for other people recently. For instance, years of training means that I tend to give way at doorways and hold doors open for people. It upsets me that Spaniards don't. It upsets me that, door in hand, people behind me take the opportunity to push past or that the person crossing the threshold decides to stop mid manoeuvre to turn and chat to their friend who is following behind. I learned years ago that Spaniards seldom say thank you for such a common courtesy but there is something extra disrespectful about being discourteous in the face of courtesy. It's the same on zebra crossings when people purposely dawdle as they cross - as though they are fingering their nose at you.
Maybe it is a difference between their tribe and mine or it could just be because I'm a grumpy old man who has been in a bad mood all day.