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The Iberian Horseshoe — A Journey

Part IV. North East

Hand Gestures & a Return to Cádiz

Steve Porter
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I am lost in translation when the buzzer rings. Catherine is at the door and is dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and sandals.

“Janie and I are going to Camprodon later this morning. Do you want to come?”

“Mmmmm, I’d like to come but I’m quite busy. Come in a minute.”

I’m compiling a glossary of technical terms for a local metallurgy company. Catherine glances at the hundred-page database I have to translate. “It looks like you have your work cut out there,” she says, as she drinks from a bottle of water.

“I know. It’s going to be a busy month between now and the last day of school. Is your daughter going with you to Camprodon?”

“What do you mean?” Catherine looks bemused and perhaps slightly offended at the same time.

“My daughter’s not coming over until next week. Either you think Janie’s very young looking for her age or you think I’m an old bag. I was only about nine when she was born. We used to work together. What a cheek. It’s time you went,” she laughs.

At the same time she turns the thumb and forefinger of her left hand sideways and slaps the palm of her other hand on top. This imperative action means ‘go now’. Somehow it doesn’t look quite right when Catherine does it. I think such gestures are best left to the locals.

Janie talks a lot on the drive to Camprodon. She has arrived from Central America and is pondering where to go next. She wants sun and siestas and the Spanish language. During her brief pauses, I tell her about Cádiz and she likes the sound of it. The Andalusian men won’t mind all her talking when they hear her sweet Mexican Spanish.

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Copyright ©Steve Porter, 2004
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Date of publicationNovember 2007
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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