Whenever one of us goes into Yunquera, the one left behind knows they will be gone an hour or more. No matter how much you have planned for the day, no matter how many chores are waiting for you, you just can’t hurry.
Walking into town from the car park takes at least 30 minutes! Along the way, you see friends and acquaintances, and they all want to say hello and have a chat. To not do so would be rude.
For example, I went in to the post office today, and to the supermarket. Fine, I thought, that didn’t take long!
On my way back to the car park, I see our friend Manuel Fonda (so called because his mother used to run a boarding house, which is called a “fonda”. He’s in his 60’s now, but has had the fonda nickname his whole life). Manuel wants to know where Kenton is. I say “in the house”. Oh, fine, he says, say hello to him.
Next, I see a man whose name I don’t know, but who chats to us whenever he sees us. He wants to know where Kenton is. I say “in the house”. “And so you’re on your own?” he asks. “And you drove in all by yourself, down that track?” Well, yes, I say. “Well, god be with you then”, is the reply. (A lot of people say that, I don’t think it’s a warning just for me!)
Of course, I also run into one of the Lopez family at the tourist tat shop on the main street. I greet Manuel’s wife, Brigida. We have a bit of a chat as to the weather (it’s hot) to whether I should buy a rather dodgy still life in the shop. We agree that I shouldn’t. She then says a parcel for me was waiting at their house, and I should go pick it up.
So of course I do. I trudge up the hill to the Lopez house. Brigida’s brother answers the door. Where’s Kenton, he wants to know. “In the house”, I say. “Do you think he has a girlfriend up there?”, he says with a grin. After a bit of ribald discussion, we agree it’s not likely, as not many women like to live and work in the countryside!! Then I run the gauntlet of the man himself (Manuel) and one of Brigitta’s other brothers. They’re both painting, but stop to chat with me about the weather (it’s still hot).
I asked Manuel if it was going to be a good year for the grapes. He says we’ll just have to wait and see – but we agree that it is a great year for weeds!
So, groceries bought, parcel collected, I head home. It’s been ages, but Kenton didn’t even wonder where I’d been. After all, I’d been to town!