Slippery Water and Towels

I know it’s not just me. S agreed with me. Well not about the slippery water but that’s because she comes from the Hay area where the water is soft anyway.

So the first time I used the water in the hotel room to wash, the water was weird. I must be so used to the crap water in Milan that here, in Segovia, I find it a strange feeling using this soft water.

But, far worse, and this was where S agreed with me, the towels were slippy. It was like drying yourself with brown, waxed paper. No absorbency.

I have found over the last few days that it is best to use the first towel to wipe the water from you and use the second one to try to wipe off the dampness that remains. Plus, my room is so bloody hot in the morning. So after a shower, within 5 minutes I feel I need another one. But it is cold here in the evening and morning, for certain.

I also learnt, today, that the taxi will pick me up at 3 a.m. so that I can get my flight at 6.30 a.m! And then, when I arrive in Milan I shall be going to work until at least 6 p.m. It’s going to be a very, very long day. I may not be doing much, if I can help it, tomorrow.

Segovia is hot now

The second day. I must remember to tell the story of the late night dinner with the Mayor and the Chief of Police.

In the meantime, lunch with Valeria (an Italian working in Madrid but temporarily helping at the Festival) answered my question about twins.

The reason that the Italians treat the first twin who comes out as the youngest is because it was (obviously) the second one created! All makes sense now, doesn’t it?

The funny thing was that they assumed that this was the same rule all over the world! But then, I thought our ‘rule’ was the same. It’s a strange world.

She also added that it quite annoys her when people say something like ‘What’s it like to be a twin?’ How would she know what it’s like NOT to be one. It’s just one of those stupid questions people ask.

Here it was bloody freezing last night and this morning but quite warm now as the sun has been shining all day. The Spanish seem to take even longer over buying tickets than most people. It seems the event number and the number of tickets required is just too simple and there needs to be a half-hour conversation about it. Unfortunately, all in Spanish, so most of it goes completely over my head.

We are reckoning this afternoon may go a bit mental as people finish for the weekend in Madrid and come over to the Festival. Should make it fun.

Very nice place for a Festival, though.

Segovia or bust!

Well, here I am at another literary festival. This one is one run by the Hay Festival but in Segovia, near Madrid.

To get here I had, what I can only describe as the journey from hell which I would hope to post about later, when I have more time. However, there was a point (probably after we had been sitting on the tarmac for over an hour) when I really thought I wouldn’t get here this side of Christmas!

I arrived in Segovia at about 1.30 a.m. this morning. Had a few beers with S, got to bed about 3.30 a.m. and was up at 8 to be at the Box Office for 10.

So, we have the normal problems with the Box Office (people picking the wrong events, tickets not having arrived, leaving their tickets at home, etc.) plus the added joy of everything being in a foreign language – and I’m a little tired.

However, unlike Hay, we closed the Box Office for a whole hour for lunch; I was interviewed by some Spanish television company; the sun is shining; and we are likely to finish the Box Office before midnight.

Also I have met some lovely people already, including some Italians who are helping out here. It’s quite nice to talk to them and they are very sweet. They are ‘stage’ (like an unpaid apprentice) in Madrid for one of the Festival organiser’s husband.

I am, of course, stuck in the Tourist Information centre here, which is where we have our system set up.

I’ve just been interrupted by a lady trying to find out how to work her video camera. Obviously, being the TIC, they are supposed to be able to answer any sort of question. Aren’t people strange?

We have a firework display this evening to mark the opening of the Festival in Segovia and I will, hopefully, see some of it.

More later…

People are nice and good things happen.

It is true that, mostly, people are nice. And when people are nice, it lifts you and gives you warm and good feelings inside.

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