So in spite of what I said earlier about how much I love the waymarking along the route, I´ve still managed to get lost a few times along the way (which surprises no one). I wandered around the outskirts of Pamplona a few days ago for quite some time, trying to find the bridge into town. The locals are usually very friendly toward pilgrims, and so I couldn't understand why I got such a strange look from one in particular. It turns out that my Spanish is even worse than I realized, and I had spent the afternoon approaching strangers and saying, "Excuse me? I LOVE the Magdelene bridge." And then looking at them expectantly. Fortunately I somehow got pointed in the right direction.
Then last night, I had another "geez louise I really don't speak any Spanish after all" moment in a pizza parlour (pizza parlour? what am I, like ninety?). The manager was trying to explain to me that it would take awhile for my pizza, an explanation which involved him taking me into the kitchen to show me that the oven wasn't warmed up yet and lots of pointing at the clock and repeating things slowly. Before leaving, I tried to thank him for being so kind, but it came out like this: "Thank you, you're very...you're very...[pause while I search for words like 'nice,' 'kind,' 'patient,' or 'helpful,' and then give up] TE QUIERO." Then I ran out of the restaurant horrendously embarassed about just having professed my love for a pizza cook.
This next part will only make sense to Kingstonians. I was walking on a quiet country road today, and a farmer passed me with his flock of sheep. I don't know if it was the sun or what, but I could swear that the shepherd was Andre's exact double. And then I started to imagine other Kingston panhandlers as shepherds in rural Spain, and OH MY GOD PAT NEEDS TO MOVE TO SPAIN TO BE A SHEPHERD. Think about it: Thor could use his woodworking skills to carve a crook for her, and she could wear her leopard-print bike shorts every day and natter on at the sheep who wouldn't even mind. Then Andre could have her spot in front of the Goat and everyone would be happy. I understand that she recently lost her can - maybe that was a sign that it's time to move on and find a new profession?