Partner has seen two examples of Christmas Spirit this week.
The other day he went into the local shop and there was a Spanish couple loading up with spirits and cigarettes, Gib being the duty-free paradise that it is. They were also over their limit so presumably were happily going to smuggle their purchases over the border.
The mother of one these two was also in the shop. She bent down to pick up a couple of handfuls of some sweets and chewing gum.
“Pasa,” said Partner – indicating that she was in front of him in the queue.
“No, it’s ok,” she said (in Spanish), “I’m with them.”
Then she put the sweeties in a plastic carrier bag that she had with her. She rattled it at the shop owner, who hadn’t a clue why she was doing that. And then they all left, obviously without paying for the sweets.
You would think people who could afford nearly £50 on booze and fags could afford to pay for sweets too.
Yesterday people finished work early and went drinking. Actually some of them just went drinking, they didn’t bother going to work.
Partner went to meet a workmate at about 3pm, and they had a couple of beers. When he left the bar, it was chucking it down.
There were two smartly-suited guys crossing the road from the marina complex. They had obviously been to a works do at one of the smart restaurants there. Very nice.
They both had two very large umbrellas, clearly emblazoned with the name of their firm.
“Oh I could do with one of those, it is raining so hard,” joked Partner and turned into a pedestrian passage on his way home.
Then one of the guys ran in after him, and presented him with his umbrella.
“No, no, no,” said Partner with his hands in the air. “It was only a broma (a joke).”
“No,” said the guy, “Toma, take it. We’re going back to the car, and I will get another one next week from work.”
They exchanged greetings – Felices Fiestas, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Then Partner went off towards home, and the guy turned round to join his mate who was patiently waiting to share his umbrella with him on their short walk to the car.
Apart from the nice gesture, the reason this was such a bonus, is that the best umbrellas in Gib are the works ones. I bought a rubbish umbrella last week, it is big but very flimsy. It will blow inside out as soon as there is a strong wind – which often happens. I couldn’t find a good quality umbrella anywhere – yet when you look round, there are lots of people with really great umbrellas, but all with a logo on of some sort.
So now we have one. Thanks, whoever you were, and hope you have a great holiday.
And I hope everyone who reads this does too. Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad to those of you who celebrate Christmas, and to those of you who don’t, Season’s Greetings and Felices Fiestas. Happy New Year and Feliz Año Nuevo to you all.