Sunday, September 25, 2005

Basset hound, pub Voramar, people watching

People who live here walk their dogs every morning. One of the dogs is called Otto. He is an enormous basset hound . It takes five minutes for him to walk past you. He is low slung, a few inches above the ground, with a vast head, powerful shoulders, and an aristocratic indifference to anyone who stops to talk to him. He looks straight ahead as though there is something more worthwhile in the future; and there probably is.

The Pub Voramar is not a pub: it is a traditional bar. All the menus are in Catalan. We watch the proprietor every morning putting out the tables and chairs. Always with great pride, he hangs up the pub sign - a painting of the outside of the bar, which is framed in a crude contraption made of old boards, perhaps salvaged from an old fishing boat.

People watching is part of every holiday. We watch a group of three Swedish couples. They are dead serious. Not a smile, not a laugh; they spend more than half an hour reading menus. Eventually they sit down at a table outside the restaurant, where we are eating. They order food and drink. The women have wine, the men beer. But when the beer arrives, the glasses are too small. The beer glasses are replaced by half litre tankards. Still there has been not sign of animation. The men take a couple of sips. Suddenly the table lights up. The long faces break into smiles; they begin to talk. They are having a good time; they are on holiday. The whole process has taken the best part of an hour.

1 comment:

Lucas said...

Joyce and I loved this cluster of observations - the dog seemed very real to us and also that the decision to have a good time can be a serious one.