Friday, 20 July 2012

Polyglot pharmacy

While Clare and Ann went swimming this morning, Eddie and I went to find the railway station, so that he could book tickets for a return journey to Barcelona airport. The main railway line runs parallel to the N340 further inland, out of the built up area of the town, over a mile from the sea. It would appear that the expansion of Spain's railways in the second half of the nineteenth century didn't catalyse the tourism development of the area as it did elsewhere in Europe. The growth of Vinaròs as a holiday resort appears to owe more to the late 20th century rise of motor transport.

After Eddie had bought tickets, we went to Carrefour for weekend food shopping, then returned to find the house locked up, as our spouses had not yet returned from the beach. When Clare eventually arrived with the key, she was limping from a sprained ankle, having just slipped on the ramp down to the beach. She sustained no serious damage, but part of getting her fixed up was a journey for me to the local pharmacy to buy an elasticated support - a minor challenge for communicating in Spanish, in which I was eventually successful. The assistant was very patient and good humoured as I sought for words to express understanding to a question she asked me. She tried using French, German and English to make it easier for me, but accepted my awkward persistence with a warm smile. I noticed the same with the waitress who served us yesterday lunchtime - happy to let us try to speak Spanish, happy to bale us out if we got stuck. I guess it goes with the hospitality of the place.

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