Broes had already reported it: “A spanish couple has arrived who want to camp. I have already shown them everything.” I have just come from above, where I finished an order for a kimono in the sewing atelier (nice word for a large room with a lot of tables full of pieces of fabric and sewing machines and stuff).
In the village square I meet the Spanish campers
We meet & greet. The he of the couple is super-enthusiastic, loves it! “You don’t see this very often anymore”, he says with a smile from ear to ear, “most of it is new, neat, all the same, and boring.”
It’s like talking to myself. That’s exactly what I think too! I’ve always found those big new “luxury” hotels super boring. Nothing to do and often all tight-assed snobs together. Boo. Or those perfectly arranged camp sites, where even the grass is design. Boo.
The best holiday ever I can remember was camping in France in the neglected yard of a burned down house. An enormous country house, still scorched black after years, with all the windows broken and a large fence around it.
There we played endlessly in the stream (I was 8) and cooked on a campfire. The real way of camping!
These are also real campers: they only have a modest igloo, and not even a whole kitchen equipment next to it. No easy chairs come out of the car, only a few mats and sleeping bags.
That evening I am sitting in my reading chair upstairs, reading (always read a bit before bedtime!) and I hear the guitar. He can play well too – he’d already talked enthusiastically about the guitar that afternoon. I encouraged him to use it, because the guitar has been standing still for a few weeks. And t his guitar is used to this and that and the other …
The last campers – an English couple – were also very happy that the guitar was there.
The English camper was able to play well, but now I hear a small difference: this is a typical Spanish way of playing! Just a little while, and she’ll come over with her castanets, and start dancing with it… do I hear an “Olé”? – but no, it’s not going that far.
No dancing. No castanets. She wants to come back to mosaic. Great idea!
This is a very pleasant surprise. When people can play well, it is a joy to listen to. And especially if it’s a little sneaky, like now: he doesn’t know that I’m reading upstairs, and that I can hear this.
The next day they head to the pastelaria for breakfast (life can be as easy as you want it to be), and we have a little chat. If they can stay another night. But of course!
“Dankjewel, gezellig”, he says, and smiles at my surprised face. “I lived in Amsterdam for a year, but this is about the only thing that has stayed with me.”